Routing protocols are typically designed to use a single-cost formula for all of a protocol's routes. In some instances, a network administrator can adjust the cost formula of the Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), but the protocol applies the formula uniformly to all prefixes, which can cause all applications to suffer from lower performance. In order to address such issues, techniques are presented herein through which a flexible metric can be applied that is isolated to prefixes. for example, the techniques presented herein provide for the reduced use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) routing & forwarding (VRF) instances on routers and ease network configuration as configurations provided in accordance with the techniques presented herein are only needed at prefix originators.

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