Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » M »

MPLS - Multiprotocol Label Switching

MPLS is short for Multiprotocol Label Switching.

MPLS is an IETF initiative that integrates Layer 2 information about network links (e.g. bandwidth, latency, utilization) into Layer 3 (IP) within a particular autonomous system, or ISP, in order to simplify and improve IP packet exchange. MPLS gives network operators a great deal of flexibility to divert and route traffic around link failures, congestion, and bottlenecks.

From a quality of service QoS standpoint, ISPs will better be able to manage different kinds of data streams based on priority and service plan. For instance, those who subscribe to a premium service plan, or those who receive a lot of streaming media or high-bandwidth content can see minimal latency and packet loss.

When packets enter a MPLS-based network, Label Edge Routers (LERs) give them a label (identifier). These labels not only contain information based on the routing table entry (i.e. destination, bandwidth, delay, and other metrics), but also refer to the IP header field (source IP address), Layer 4 socket number information, and differentiated service. Once this classification is complete and mapped, different packets are assigned to corresponding Labeled Switch Paths (LSPs), where Label Switch Routers (LSRs) place outgoing labels on the packets.

With these LSPs, network operators can divert and route traffic based on data-stream type and Internet-access customer.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
What You Don't Read Can Hurt You

Does this sound familiar? An online service promises to help your small business cut costs, increase productivity, make your coffee and walk your... Read More »

Who's Moving Ahead in Cloud Computing?

The future remains, well, cloudy. But either way: Amazon, look out. Microsoft is gaining fast. Read More »

We Can't Give Up on Privacy!

Even new and emerging technologies that can make our lives easier, safer and healthier can jeopardize our privacy. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
Webopedia Polls

The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »

How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »