Control Plane vs Data Plane – Difference b/w Control and Data Plane

In the last post we discussed the control plane and the data plane in detail. In this post we will emphasize on the difference between the two.

Control Plane vs Data Plane

Below table describes the Control Plane vs Data Plane in detail -:


1The control plane process is responsible for building and maintaining the IP routing table.
The data plane process is responsible for actual forwarding of IP packet.
2Makes decisions about where traffic will be sent.
Control Plane = Learning what we will do.
Forwards traffic to the next hop along the path to the selected destination network according to control plane logic.
Data Plane = Actually moving the packets based on what we learned.
3Control plane packets are destined to or locally originated by the router itself.
Data plane packets go through the router.
4Control plane packets are processed by the router to update the routing table information.
The routers/switches use what the control plane built to dispose incoming and outgoing frames and packets
5Control plane is the process of learning what we will do before sending the packet or frame.
Data plane is moving the actual packets based on what we learned from control plane.
6Routing (exchange of routing information) is performed in the control plane.
Switching (packet forwarding) is performed in the data (forwarding) plane
7Includes STP, ARP, DHCP, RIP, OSPF etc.
Includes decrementing TTL, recomputing IP header checksum etc.
8Router inserts the results of the control-plane protocols into Routing Information Base (RIB) and Forwarding Information Base (FIB).
Data plane software or ASICs uses FIB structures to forward the transit traffic.

Download this Data Plane vs Control Plance table here.

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