|Derived from a proprietary fast packet switching technique, MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) has played various roles throughout the years. It has been an approach for the deployment of IP over ATM networks, a solution in utilizing ATM hardware within IP networks, a traffic engineering enhancement for IP, and finally a unifying control plane technology.
This tutorial provides an overview of MPLS from its inspiring principles to its various fields of application. By retracing the evolution of MPLS, the tutorial discusses how it became the next technology promising to satisfy present and future networking needs.
After a presenting the basic mechanisms and operating principles of MPLS, the tutorial discusses the two feature of MPLS that make it a particularly important technology today. The first one, which the tutorial gives particular emphasis to, is related to enabling traffic engineering. First, the limitations of IP with respect to the realization and operation of large backbones are analyzed. Then, traffic engineering features that enable MPLS to overcome such limitations are illustrated together with their underlying mechanisms and protocols.
The second important feature is related to the control plane of MPLS that, on the one hand, is well integrated with the control plane of IP, on the other hand is suitable for deployment on connection oriented networks. For this reason the control plane of MPLS has become a unifying solution for various network technologies. The tutorial first explains the relation between MPLS and different infrastructure technologies, such as Ethernet, PPP, ATM and FR, DWDM, and circuit switching. Then the control plane of MPLS is described discussing how MPLS signaling protocols are used for set-up and restoration of MPLS Label Switched Paths (LSPs), possibly generalized in terms of circuits, optical channels, and sub-lambda channels.
The participants are expected to have basic knowledge on packet switching and the Internet Protocol Suite.
• Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS): basic concepts and architecture
• The Data Plane
o - Packet labeling and label format
o - Traffic classification and label association
• The Control Plane
o - Label Distribution
OOOO- Label Distribution Protocol (LDP)
OOOO- Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP)
o - Routing
• IP over ATM
o - General issues
o - Other proposed solutions
o - The MPLS solution
• Traffic Engineering
o - General issues and limitations of IP
o - Constraint based routing
• Quality of Service
o - MPLS/DiffServ Integration
o - Support mechanisms (E-LSP, L-LSP)
• MPLS Applications for Service Providers and Telecom Providers
o - Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
OOOO- Traditional approach
OOOO- BGP/MPLS based approach
o - DSL
o - Voce over MPLS (VoMPLS)
• Generalized MPLS (GMPLS)
o - Application to SONET
o - Application to Optical Networks
Dr. Mario Baldi is Associate Professor of Computer Networks and head of the Computer Networks Group (NetGroup) at the Department of Computer Engineering of Politecnico di Torino (Technical University of Turin), Italy and Vice President for Protocol Architecture at Synchrodyne Networks, Inc., New York. He received his M.S. Degree Summa Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering in 1993, and his Ph.D. in Computer and System Engineering in 1998 both from Politecnico di Torino. He was Assistant Professor on tenure track at Politecnico di Torino from 1997 to 2002. He joined Synchrodyne Networks, Inc. in November 1999. Mario Baldi has been Honorary Visiting Professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Adjunct Professor at Univerity of Illinois at Chicago, Visiting Professor at Institut de Technologie du Cambodge, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and visiting researcher at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, at Columbia University, New York, NY, and at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), Berkeley, CA. Mario Baldi provides on a regular basis consultancy and training services, both directly to companies and through various training and network consultancy centers. He co-authored over 70 papers on various networking related topics and two books, one on internetworking and one on switched local area networks. His research interests include internetworking, high performance switching, optical networking, quality of service, multimedia over packet networks, voice over IP, and computer networks in general.