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Cisco IOS Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Ian Brown, Kevin Dooley

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Introduction

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is an advanced topic. Before tackling this technology, you should have a good understanding of IP routing, with particular attention to BGP (Chapters 5 and 9, respectively). However, with that caution, MPLS is not as complicated as many of the books on the subject make it appear. There are several basic concepts and protocols that work together to create an MPLS network, and these correspond to the various essential steps required to set up such a network.

And before going into the concepts and protocols of MPLS, it is worth noting that most users of MPLS networks don’t ever need to actually configure MPLS. The usual model is that MPLS exists within the core of a network provider’s network. The provider delivers some sort of network connection, such as a switched Ethernet port to the customer’s premise, and the customer just routes IP traffic into this port. The customer doesn’t actually need to know anything about MPLS.

If you are the customer of an MPLS network, there are still some issues worth noting, particularly regarding how to exchange routing protocol information with the MPLS network (Recipes 26.3, 26.5, 26.6, 26.7, and 26.8), and you may be interested in how to use QoS (Recipe 26.9) or how multicast works with MPLS (Recipe 26.11). But in most of these cases, you will need to work with your MPLS network provider to implement the features you want, as everything depends on how they have built their network.

However, there is ...

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