IP Over Fiber and other
IP Over Fiber and other IP v6 dreams. It's been a while, but I had to learn about IPv6 for my HP conference call. First trip was to do a search for ip v6 investment opportunities. Then thanks too Google Search right clicking, I got led to all kiinds of acronym explainers like
And then off to a host of acronyms MPLS FAQ. MPLS stands for "Multiprotocol Label Switching". In an MPLS network, incoming packets are assigned a "label" by a "label edge router (LER)". Packets are forwarded along a "label switch path (LSP)" where each "label switch router (LSR)" makes forwarding decisions based solely on the contents of the label. At each hop, the LSR strips off the existing label and applies a new label which tells the next hop how to forward the packet.
The initial goal of label based switching was to bring the speed of Layer 2 switching to Layer 3. Label based switching methods allow routers to make forwarding decisions based on the contents of a simple label, rather than by performing a complex route lookup based on destination IP address. This initial justification for technologies such as MPLS is no longer perceived as the main benefit, since Layer 3 switches (ASIC-based routers) are able to perform route lookups at sufficient speeds to support most interface types.
However, MPLS brings many other benefits to IP-based networks, they include:
Traffic Engineering - the ability to set the path traffic will take through the network, and the ability to set performance characteristics for a class of traffic
VPNs - using MPLS, service providers can create IP tunnels throughout their network, without the need for encryption or end-user applications
Layer 2 Transport - New standards being defined by the IETF's PWE3 and PPVPN working groups allow service providers to carry Layer 2 services including Ethernet, Frame Relay and ATM over an IP/MPLS core
Elimination of Multiple Layers - Typically most carrier networks employ an overlay model where SONET/SDH is deployed at Layer 1, ATM is used at Layer 2 and IP is used at Layer 3. Using MPLS, carriers can migrate many of the functions of the SONET/SDH and ATM control plane to Layer 3, thereby simplifying network management and network complexity. Eventually, carrier networks may be able to migrate away from SONET/SDH and ATM all-together, which means elimination of ATM's inherent "cell-tax" in carrying IP traffic