Network planes

There are several different types of "planes" that are discussed when it comes to networking. These planes can refer to different entities depending upon the context. The list below describes the planes

  • Control plane - The control plane refers to the part of the network that carries administrative traffic. This is the traffic that is responsible for routing, ARP tables, and network management, as opposed to user data or payload traffic. In the context of CEF, it is the component of the routing device that performs these processes.
  • Data plane - The data plane, sometimes referred to as the forwarding plane or the user plane, is the portion of networking architecture that processes and handles user data.
  • Management plane - The management plane is viewed in the context of network configuration, monitoring, management, updates, and other administrative tasks. It is only relevant in the context of operations involving the accessing of devices via SSH, Telnet, SNMP, as well as processes involving logging, software updates, and network monitoring systems. The management plane is typically created as part of a network design, ensuring the appropriate management VLANs, management interfaces, CLI connectivity and NMS services are all correctly established.


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