EIGRP Named Mode vs Classic Mode: How to Configure


Cisco developed EIGRP to improve efficiency and scalability in routing protocols. just as Cisco converted IGRP to EIGRP, Cisco also converted EIGRP from classic mode to EIGRP named mode to remove Deficiencies or defects in EIGRP classic mode. Classic mode is the old version of EIGRP, in which you have to enter protocol and interface commands in their respective modes. Meanwhile, you must enter all the global configuration mode configurations in the named mode.

EIGRP named mode

EIGRP Name Mode is an advanced version of EIGRP. Unlike the traditional method, Named Modo allows you to manage different configurations within a single name, which is quite convenient. The other name of the EIGRP-named mode is “Multi-af (address-family) mode.”

We can configure multiple address families and AS number combinations in named mode. The configuration of the named mode is different from the classic mode.

EIGRP named mode has three types of configuration modes which are:

1) Address-Family: We configure the EIGRP network, router-id, metric, and neighbor in this mode.

2) Address-Family-Interface: Configuration of interfaces-related commands such as authentication, split-horizon, summary-address, etc.

3) Address-Family-Topology: It gives several options for EIGRP, which operates on topology tables such as variance, redistribution, and offset list.

Difference between named mode and classic mode

We configure EIGRP directly under router and global configuration modes in the named mode. Classic mode is suited for small networks where advanced features are not needed, while the named mode is ideal for modern, complex, and large networks where IPv4 and IPv6 are running simultaneously,. Moreover, VRF, authentication, and summarization also run within the EIGRP process. The key differences are given in table form below.

FeaturesEIGRP Classic ModeEIGRP Named Mode
Configuration StyleFlat and scatteredHierarchical and organized
Process IdentificationIdentified by AS numberIdentified by user-defined name
Address Family SupportSeparate process for IPv4 and IPv6A single process for multiple address families
Network CommandUses network command to specify participating network IDsApplied separately using distributed lists and ACLs
Interface ConfigurationConfigured under interface configuration modeUses network command within the address-family context
Route FiltrationRoute FiltrationApplied separately using distributed lists and ACLs
AuthenticationConfigured under interface configuration modeConfigured within the address-family context
Summary AddressConfigured under interface configuration modeConfigured within the address-family context
ScalabilityLimited to one address family per processSupports multiple address families and VRFs
Ease of ManagementMore complex and fragmentedSimplified and centralized
Difference between EIGRP Classic Mode vs Named Mode


We will configure three routers in our lab topology: R1, R2, and R3. R1 and R2 will run EIGRP named mode, while R3 will run EIGRP classic mode. Configure all the IP addresses, as shown in the figure.

EIGRP named mode

Run named mode on R2 and R2.

Configuring EIGrP named mode on R1 and R2

Our name for name mode is “Named_EIGRP,” configured on R1 and R2. 

Address-family specifies IPv4 with unicasting and defines the AS number for EIGRP. Similarly, the af-interface command specifies interface, which disables the passive-interface on FastEthernet 0/0 and FastEthernet 0/1. Because, in name mode, a passive interface is enabled by default on an interface. At the last network command, advertise routes in EIGRP.

While running eigrp classic mode on R3.

configuring eigrp classic mod eon R3

Check the mode of the EIGRP through show IP protocol

show ip Protocol on R1

Now check classic mode on Router R3.

show ip protocol on R3

Show the IP route of all the routers and check the convergence.

show ip route of R1 R2 and R3

As all the router routing tables are completed, check the connectivity between R1 and R3. Ping R3 from R1.

ping R3 from R1

Check the neighbor table of R2.

check neighbors on R2

Is classic mode compatible with named mode?

Yes, the named mode is backward compatible with EIGRP classic mode. When we ping R3 from R1, it was successful. Similarly, R2 established a neighbor relationship with R3. It means that the named mode is compatible with the classic mode.

How to upgrade classic mode to named mode

Cisco introduced the “eigrp upgrade-cli” command, which upgraded classic mode to named mode. After configuring this command, it upgraded the classic mode to the named mode without the network flapping or restarting process. When you run this command, the classic mode will not appear in the router.

run eigrp upgrade-cli command on R3

Note: if you are using classic and named modes simultaneously, you can’t use the same AS for classic and named mode eigrp.

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