Traffic engineering is described as the process of controlling the way traffic flows through a network so that network performance and resource utilization can be optimized. It involves adapting the routing traffic to the network condition, with the aim of good user performance and efficient use of network resources. (Alan et al 2004)
- One of its primary goals is to make it possible for networks to offer predictable performance.
- Another goal of traffic engineering is balance the Quality of Service (QoS) against the maintenance and operation costs of the network.
- Traffic engineering aim to limit or eliminate high-loss situations
Which of these goals can only be met with MPLS?
“With MPLS, QoS is delivered in a somewhat different manner. MPLS make scalable QoS support in the core. Packets still have their DS-fields set at the edge of the network. In addition, the experimental fields in the MPLS headers are set at the ingress LSRs. In the middle of an LSP, packets are buffered and scheduled in accordance to the experimental fields.” (Alan et al 2004)
Which are met by using existing (non-MPLS) protocols.
“The goal of Traffic Engineering is to facilitate efficient and reliable IP network operations while simultaneously optimizing resource utilization and network performance. Prior to MPLS TE, this technique is possible with either IP or ATM depending on the protocol used between a pair of edge routers in a network.” (Wei 2003)
What advantages does MPLS offer?
MPLS sits between layers 2 and 3, it provides additional features for the transport of data across the network. Its other advantages are:
- The ability to deliver data transport services, as well as IP routing services,
- Implementing Multi-Service Networks
- The ability to control where and how traffic is routed on your network, to manage capacity, prioritize different services, and prevent congestion.
- Improve control of network infrastructure.
- Allow for the establishment of data-transporting priorities
- Improve disaster recovery through improved system access.
(Alan et al 2004 & Wei 2003)
Alan H, Brook B, Lionel, M N, Xiao, X 2004, Traffic Engineering with MPLS in the Internet, GlobalCenter Inc, CA.
Steenbergen, R A 2005. MPLS for Dummies. nLayer Communications, Inc.
Wei C. Y. 2003. Traffic Engineering In Multiprotocol Label Switching Networks. A Thesis.
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