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Multi-Protocol Label Switching

Online, On-Site, & On-Campus


Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is one of the most critical high-speed networking technologies. It is IP-compatible, provides quality of service (QoS) guarantee, and supports high-performance failure recovery. Combining intelligence, scalability, reliability and manageability together, MPLS enables the convergence of multiple protocols (such as IP, ethernet, ATM, frame relay) to the same backbone network. It is also the key technology to build scalable virtual private networks (VPNs) to support various applications.

This course will cover the fundamental aspects of MPLS and provide a in-depth study of this key technology. We will introduce the essence of MPLS by understanding the major problems of ethernet switching and IP routing. We will then explain the MPLS architecture and understand the components, including label switching routers, routing, labels, label distribution, and label-switched path. After that we will gain insights into MPLS by discussing its major applications: How to achieve network resilience? How to build VPNs? How to perform traffic engineering? How to guarantee QoS? Throughout the course we will motivate thinking and interactions using various approaches, such as examples, animations, quizzes, and other interactive activities.


Module: Fundamentals of Communication Networks

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand concepts of digital communication, circuit switching, packet switching, TDM and SONET communication protocols, ethernet, IP, TCP, UDP and applications, routing

Module: The Evolution to MPLS

Participants will be able to:

  • Explore IP routing, ATM switching, MPLS, ethernet switching; Compare: Ethernet, IP, and MPLS.

Module: The MPLS Architecture

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn label allocation, next hop label forwarding entry, label-switched Path (LSP), explicit routing label stacking

Module: Label Switching Routers (LSRs)

Participants will be able to:

  • Clearly leverage the basics of packet switch, table lookup (MAC table, IP table and MPLS label table), LSR

Module: MPLS Labels

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand MPLS labels basics, label assignment and distribution, upstream and downstream LSR, label distribution: purpose, label distribution: protocols, label distribution: methods

Module: Network Resilience

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn requirements on resilience, path-based protection in MPLS, link-based protection in MPLS, failure recovery in IP networks

Module: Virtual Private Networks

Participants will be able to:

  • Get an overview of VPNs, connection-oriented VPNs, connectionless VPNs, comparison of VPN technologies, MPLS VPN, advantages of MPLS VPNs, carrier ethernet and MPLS VPN

Module: MPLS Traffic Engineering

Participants will be able to:

  • Explore the need for traffic engineering on the Internet, unequal-cost load balancing via metric manipulation, MPLS traffic engineering elements (dynamic/static LSPs) and MPLS traffic engineering configuration

Module: MPLS Quality of Service

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn introduction to quality of service, integrated services, differentiated services, and MPLS QoS implementation


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