Mar 3, 2010

Configuring a Cisco router to exchange RIP routes with a Windows 2003 Server – Part 2

Did you know that a Windows Server can act as a router? Even better, did you know that a Windows server could be configured to exchange routes with a Cisco router? In Part 1 of this series, we demonstrated how to configure a Windows 2003 Server to exchange routes with a Cisco router using RIP. In this second part of the series, we will configure the Cisco router and prove that these configurations work. Let's get started!

Our Network
If you'll remember from Part 1 of this series, we offered a diagram of our sample network. To refresh your memory, here is what it looks like.
Network Diagram

Configure a Cisco Router to exchange routes with a Windows 2003 Server

I have configured my Cisco router with interfaces in the two networks shown above. Here is the relevant configuration:
interface Ethernet0/0 ip address ! interface Loopback0 ip address
To configure the Cisco router to advertise these RIP routes and exchange then with the Windows Server, I enable RIP version 2 and add these networks to the RIP routing process:

Router#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
Router(config)# router rip
Router(config-router)# ver 2
Router(config-router)# network
Router(config-router)# network

What we did was this:

  1. Enter RIP configuration mode on the router
  2. Configure RIP to use version 2 so that subnet masks will be sent with routing updates, allowing us to use classless IP routing, with out network conflicts in the routing protocol
  3. Add the two networks to RIP using the network ID for each network - this tells RIP to both ADVERTISE this network to RIP neighbors and to LOOK FOR RIP neighbors on these networks.

RIP Route exchange between Windows 2003 Server and the Cisco IOS

Now, for the moment of truth, did it really work? To find out, on the router, just issue theshow ip route command. What you should see is a route coded as a R route, for RIP. If your Cisco router has a route received as a RIP route (marked R), then you know that your router received that route from a neighbor. The only neighbor we have configured is the Windows 2003 Server RIP router. It should look something like this:

As you can see, our Cisco router received RIP route from - our Windows 2003 Server.
To prove that we have communication, I pinged the Local Area Connection 2 interface on the far side of the Windows 2003 Server, from where the router is - This proved that there was complete communication through the Windows 2003 Server, in one side and out the other side.

Now, let's look at the stats over on the Windows 2003 server.

Notice how the Windows server has been receiving RIP updated on one of the interfaces - those updates are coming from the Cisco router. To see the RIP route for the network over on the Windows 2003 Server, at the command line, we do route print, like this:

Notice the route being received from the gateway.
And, we can ping from the Windows Server, like this:

In conclusion, we have successfully configured a Cisco router to exchange RIP routes with a Windows 2003 Server. Overall, I I hope that you found that it was much easier than you thought. The route exchange and interoperability between these two different platforms is made possible by the RIP standards. By being able to use a Windows Server as a router or exchanging routes between various routers or firewalls and a Windows Server, you are opening yourself up to so many options for your network design and configuration.


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