What is the difference in Route Distinguisher vs Route Target?

Route Distinguisher

We know VRFs allow IP address space to be reused among isolated routing domains. For example, assume you have to connect to three customer sites, all of which are using 192.168.10.0/24 as their local network. We can assign each customer its own VRF so that the overlapping networks are kept isolated from one another in their respective routing domains.

This works well, but we need a way to keep track of which 192.168.10.0/24 route belongs to which customer. This is where route distinguishers come in. As its name implies, a route distinguisher (RD) distinguishes one set of routes (one VRF) from another. It is a unique number prepended to each route within a VRF to identify it as belonging to that particular VRF or customer. An RD is carried along with a route via MP-BGP when exchanging VPN routes with other PE routers.

Route Target

Whereas RD (route distinguishers) are used to maintain uniqueness among identical routes in different VRFs, route targets can be used to share routes among them. We can apply route targets to a VRF to control the import and export of routes among it and other VRFs.

A route target takes the form of an extended BGP community with a structure similar to that of a route distinguisher (which is probably why the two are so easily confused). One or more route targets can be affixed to routes within a VRF using the VRF configuration command route-target export: