Layer 3 Switching Using MPLSMultiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) represents the next level of standards-based evolution in combining layer 2 (data link layer) switching technologies with layer 3 (network layer) routing technologies. The primary objective of this standardization process is to create a flexible networking fabric that provides increased performance and scalability. This includes traffic engineering capabilities which provide, for example, aspects of Quality of Service (QoS) /Class of Service (CoS) and facilitate the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). This white paper highlights the challenges faced by service providers in transitioning to IP-based networks, the current capabilities of IP, the current methods used to build large-scale IP networks, and the capabilities envisioned for the deployment of MPLS that will address the requirements of the service provider community.
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