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The Routing Engine handles all routing protocol processes, the software processes that control the router's interfaces, the chassis components, system management, and user access to the router. These routing and software processes run on top of a kernel that interacts with the Packet Forwarding Engine (PFE). The Routing Engine also provides control plane functions and runs Junos OS. Software processes that run on the Routing Engine maintain the routing tables, manage the routing protocols used on the router, control the router interfaces, control some chassis components, and provide the interface for system management and user access to the router. Routing Engines communicate with DPCs and MPCs via dedicated out-of-band management channels, providing a clear distinction between the control and forwarding planes.