APNIC Training

eROU05: Introduction to MPLS

eROU05: Introduction to MPLS

DeliveryeLearning (this course is conducted online)
Duration1 hour
Level of StudyIntermediate


Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a standards based forwarding function defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force IETF. Traditional routing can be broken down into two specific functions of control plane functions and forwarding functions. Control Plane function involves the construction and maintenance of the routing table. Forwarding function involves the moving of packets from an incoming interface to an outgoing interface. Control Plane functions are normally handled by software on a Route/Control/Supervisor Processor of a router. Normally the forwarding functions of a router are handled in hardware by Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), TCAMs or network processors.

MPLS works at a layer 2.5 of the OSI layers. MPLS defines a control plane function called the Label Distribution Protocol (LDP). LDP utilizes the routing table built by routing protocols, builds predefined label switch paths by binding labels to network prefixes. In a traditional routing environment at every intermediate router a layer 3 look up is required to identify the destination address in the packet before an outgoing interface can be identified. This is considered a major limitation of traditional routing. MPLS changes this by using label-swapping technique similar to the one used in Frame Relay networks. The key thing to remember about MPLS is that it's a forwarding technique, not a service. MPLS introduces another important feature called label stacking where a MPLS packet can have more than one label to enable services. MPLS Label stacking allows SPs deliver anything from IP VPNs, L2 VPNs, MPLS Traffic Engineering, etc.

Target Audience:

This course is designed for network engineers working in service provider environments, enterprise WAN environments, and other enthusiasts interested in learning about MPLS.


Participants must have intermediate level knowledge of routing protocols such as OSPF, ISIS, and BGP, as well as a good understanding of control and forwarding plane concepts.

Course Outline:

  • What is MPLS?
  • Drawbacks of traditional Routing Protocols
  • History of MPLS
  • Overview of MPLS functions
  • MPLS Terminology
  • MPLS Header
  • Label Distribution Protocol
  • Label Stacking and its uses
  • Overview of L3 MPLS VPNs
  • Overview of L2 MPLS VPNs (p2p and p2mp)
  • Overview of MPLS Traffic Engineering and its uses

Other requirements:

  • Updated web browser with Adobe Flash Player 11 or above
  • Broadband connection running at a minimum of 256kbps or better
  • Headset (to reduce noise)

Maximum number of attendees:

50 participants per session

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