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Internetworking Technologies Handbook, Fourth Edition by Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Chapter 32. MPLS

Objectives

  • Understand the advantages of MPLS.

  • Learn the components of an MPLS system.

  • Compare and contrast MPLS and hop-by-hop routing.

  • Describe the two methods of label distribution.

  • Explain the purpose of MPLS traffic engineering.

In a typical router-based network, Layer 3 datagrams pass from a source to a destination on a hop-by-hop basis. Transit routers evaluate each datagram's Layer 3 header and perform a routing table lookup to determine the next hop toward the destination. Although some routers implement hardware and software switching techniques (for example, Cisco Express Forwarding [CEF]) to accelerate the evaluation process by creating high-speed cache entries, these methods rely on the Layer 3 routing protocol to determine ...

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