I think I understand these concepts, but I'm a little rusty. Can someone give a concise, easy-to-understand explanation of these concepts? The planes are logical concepts, aren't they? Is this a Cisco only thing?
These terms are abstract logical concepts, much like the OSI model.
Data plane refers to all the functions and processes that forward packets/frames from one interface to another.
Control plane refers to all the functions and processes that determine which path to use. Routing protocols, spanning tree, ldp, etc are examples.
Management plane is all the functions you use to control and monitor devices.
These are mostly logical concepts but things like SDN separate them into actual devices.
Finally, all manufacturers use these concepts.
Forwarding Plane - Moves packets from input to output
Control Plane - Determines how packets should be forwarded
Management Plane - Methods of configuring the control plane (CLI, SNMP, etc.)
1 --- Data Plane:
These are software or hardware components of the router or switch related to routing/forwarding user data/traffic from one interface to another. In the case of routers, routing table and/or forwarding table (CEF in case of Cisco) and the routing logic constitute the data plane function. MAC Address Table and Switching logic comprise the data plane in the switches.
2 --- Control Plane: In the case of a router, these are functions/components of the router which are responsible for populating the routing table/forwarding table and hence enable the data plane functions. Examples are routing protocols such as OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, IS-IS, LDP, etc.
3 --- Management Plane:
These are components of the router that are used to manage the router/switch/device that are compliant with standard protocols such as SNMP, TELNET, SSH, NETCONF,etc
4 ---- Service Plane:
I am not absolutely sure about these, but I would assume that these might be fine distinction of management plane. For example, components that are used for automatic update or OS download and upgrade functions.
Please see the following image from Cisco Site:
- Makes decisions about where traffic is sent
- Control plane packets are destined to or locally originated by the router itself
- The control plane functions include the system configuration, management, and exchange of routing table information
- Control plane packets are processed by the router to update the routing table information.
- Also known as Forwarding Plane
- Forwards traffic to the next hop along the path to the selected destination network according to control plane logic
- Data plane packets go through the router
- The routers/switches use what the control plane built to dispose of incoming and outgoing frames and packets
Management Plane- User/ Operator/ Tools managing Network Infastructure