MPLS

What is MPLS?

  • MPLS stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching.
  • The MPLS serves as a method to forward packets of data easily by using labels.
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a vendor-independent protocol that applies labels to packets providing QOS and advance route selection functions.
  • MPLS can be implemented over any media-type and can be used with point-to-point, multipoint and ATM links. MPLS can be used with different network layer protocols (hence the term multiprotocol) by using a control component specific to the desired protocol.
  • MPLS can speed up the flow of network traffic and make it easier to manage.
  • MPLS is flexible, fast, cost-efficient and allows for network segmentation and quality of service (QoS).
  • MPLS also offers a better way of transporting latency-sensitive applications like voice and video.

MPLS Network

The below figure  illustrates the flow of a packet through an MPLS-enabled network. The source network is on the left and the destination network on the right. The large cloud in the center is the wide area network (WAN).

Notes:
1a. Existing routing protocols (open shortest path first (OSPF), intermediate system to intermediate system (IS-IS))  establish the reachability of the destination networks
1b. Label distribution protocol (LDP) establishes label-to-destination network mappings
2. Ingress edge label switching router (LSR) receives a packet, performs layer-3 value-added services, and labels the packets
3. LSR switches the packet using label swapping
4. Egress edge LSR removes the label and delivers the packet

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