• United States
by Steve Taylor and Joanie Wexler

Help for navigating the MPLS alphabet soup

Oct 21, 20032 mins

* Alliance tutorials help with WAN migration education

Are you having trouble differentiating between iBGP and eBGP?  How about differentiating between IGP Label Distribution and MP-BGP route distribution?  If so, a couple of recent tutorials by the MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance might be just the ticket.  And you can get the handouts for free.

The first of the two tutorials is called “Migrating Legacy Services to MPLS.”  This tutorial starts with a technical overview of Multi-protocol Label Switching, where the basics of MPLS services are covered.  It then moves to a discussion of migrating frame relay and ATM to MPLS, followed by a segment that addresses migrating TDM and voice to MPLS.

The second tutorial, called “MPLS VPN,” is a bit more technical than the first.  It starts by defining the differences between Layer 2 and Layer 3 MPLS VPNs.  Digging into the Layer 3 details, there’s a review of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the IETF Request for Comments (RFC) 2547-bis model and an architectural overview of several other BGP/MPLS topics.  Next, this tutorial moves to several Layer 2 topics, including IETF updates, Virtual Private Wire Services, and Virtual Private LAN Services.  Finally, there’s an introduction to multiservice interworking.

Since the presentation handouts are exactly that, they are not as useful as being at a live presentation.  We found ourselves eager to hear the explanation that accompanies each slide.  On the other hand, they beat not having the information available at all.  They also give you an excellent overview in advance for deciding whether to attend a subsequent seminar in person.