EIGRP Variance Command Example

This tutorial will demonstrate how you can use the EIGRP variance command to make
EIGRP load balance over feasible successors. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then
it’s best to read my article about EIGRP unequal load balancing first before you continue.
To demonstrate EIGRP load balancing I will use the following topology:

The routers above are all running EIGRP. R1 is connected to R2, R3 and R4 using a
FastEthernet, Ethernet and Serial link. On the right side you see R5 which has a loopback
interface that is configured with network 5.5.5.5 /32. We will enable EIGRP on all interfaces
and take a look what path R1 will choose when we want to reach 5.5.5.5 /32.
Let’s enable EIGRP on all routers using the ‘shotgun approach’:
R1,R2,R3,R4 & R5:
(config)#router eigrp 1
(config-router)#no auto-summary
(config-router)#network 0.0.0.0

If you are configuring this yourself, make sure you check that all routers have formed EIGRP
neighbor adjacencies before you continue.
Let’s take a look to see what path R1 will choose to reach 5.5.5.5 /32:
R1#show ip route | begin 5.5.5.5
D
5.5.5.5 [90/158720] via 192.168.12.2, 00:00:04, FastEthernet0/0

It will take the path through R2 which makes sense since this is the FastEthernet interface. If
you want to see more detailed information you can use the following command:
R1#show ip route 5.5.5.5
Routing entry for 5.5.5.5/32
Known via "eigrp 1", distance 90, metric 158720, type internal

12. we found the successor and we know that R3 and R4 are feasible successors. via FastEthernet0/0 Route metric is 158720. minimum MTU 1500 bytes Loading 1/255.168. The lowest feasible distance is 158.720 and it’s the path through R2 which makes it the successor.160 is lower than the feasible distance (158. Hops 2 To see exactly why R1 has selected R2 as the successor for this network we’ll have to take a look at the EIGRP topology table: R1#show ip eigrp topology 5.5. traffic share count is 1 Total delay is 5200 microseconds.13.2 (FastEthernet0/0).168. Send flag is 0x0 Composite metric is (412160/156160). Route is Internal Vector metric: Minimum bandwidth is 100000 Kbit Total delay is 5200 microseconds Reliability is 255/255 Load is 1/255 Minimum MTU is 1500 Hop count is 2 192.168.255 IP-EIGRP (AS 1): Topology entry for 5.4 (Serial2/0). Send flag is 0x0 Composite metric is (2300416/156160).3 (Ethernet1/0). from 192.4.3.255.168. So far so good. from 192.729) of R2.168.2.5 255. If we want to enable load balancing we have to use the following formula: FD of feasible successor &lt. FD of successor * multiplier .168.5. FD is 158720 Routing Descriptor Blocks: 192.2.2 on FastEthernet0/0.2.5/32 State is Passive. Route is Internal Vector metric: Minimum bandwidth is 1544 Kbit Total delay is 25100 microseconds Reliability is 255/255 Load is 1/255 Minimum MTU is 1500 Hop count is 2 192.Redistributing via eigrp 1 Last update from 192. from 192.168.5. 00:00:07 ago. minimum bandwidth is 100000 Kbit Reliability 255/255. Route is Internal Vector metric: Minimum bandwidth is 10000 Kbit Total delay is 6100 microseconds Reliability is 255/255 Load is 1/255 Minimum MTU is 1500 Hop count is 2 Above you see the different values for the feasible distance and advertised distance.12. Send flag is 0x0 Composite metric is (158720/156160). R3 and R4 have been selected as feasible successors because their advertised distance of 156.168. 00:00:07 ago Routing Descriptor Blocks: * 192.5. Query origin flag is 1.13. 1 Successor(s).12. from 192.168.12.255.14.12.14.

minimum MTU 1500 bytes Loading 1/255. Hops 2 As you can see EIGRP is sharing traffic in a 60:23 proportion. via FastEthernet0/0 Route metric is 158720. Hops 2 192.2. distance 90. 00:00:40 ago.5. 00:00:42.3.168. minimum bandwidth is 10000 Kbit Reliability 255/255.2.5.3 on Ethernet1/0.13. minimum bandwidth is 100000 Kbit Reliability 255/255.168. Ethernet1/0 [90/158720] via 192.5.5.720 = 2.5 D 5. traffic share count is 23 Total delay is 6100 microseconds.168. FastEthernet0/0 Above you can see that R1 has installed the path through R3 as well. 00:00:40 ago.5 [90/412160] via 192.So the feasible distance of the feasible successor has to be lower than the feasible distance of the successor that is multiplied with some value. metric 158720.168.168. 00:00:40 ago Routing Descriptor Blocks: * 192.13.5. traffic share count is 60 Total delay is 5200 microseconds.168. via Ethernet1/0 Route metric is 412160. 00:00:42.2.12. Let’s look at an example so this makes more sense.12.12. from 192.5. Let’s say we want to load balance over R3:  Feasible Distance of R2 (successor) = 158.5 Routing entry for 5. The multiplier is configured using the variance command: R1(config)#router eigrp 1 R1(config-router)#variance 3 Let’s take a look at R1 to see if this has any effect: R1#show ip route | begin 5.160 / 158. EIGRP does “unequal” cost load balancing and to see how it shares traffic among the interfaces we have to use another command: R1#show ip route 5. from 192.5. that means the FastEthernet link is used about 2.3.160 412.5. type internal Redistributing via eigrp 1 Last update from 192.6 more often than the Ethernet link.13.59 then R3 will be used for load balancing.13.3.59 So if I set the multiplier at something higher than 2.168. What kind of multiplier do we require to enable this link? .720  Feasible Distance of R3 (feasible successor) = 412.5/32 Known via "eigrp 1". What if we also want to use the serial link for load balancing? The feasible distance of R4 (2300416) is quite high. minimum MTU 1500 bytes Loading 1/255.