How is MPLS-TP different from MPLS?

Given  the attention MPLS-TP has received in the industry, it is worthwhile to discuss how this technology is different from MPLS. So here is a listing of the differences between the two.

1. MANAGEMENT PLANE SETUP :

LSPs in MPLS-TP can be setup without the use of control plane purely through the management plane. Quite opposite than MPLS which would need routing protocols or RSVP in case of MPLS-TE to set up LSPs. It is as if someone is sitting in the NOC and provisioning the LSPs from NMS centrally.

2. BIDIRECTIONAL LSPs:

Quite common in transport world is to have bidirectional Paths for circuits. In IP world, a traffic setup between two nodes can actually take any path if there is mesh available; not true about MPLS-TP. Though MPLS-TP does support unidirectional LSPs it is the bidirectional LSPs mode for which the transport world will adopt it.

3. CONTROL PLANE IS NOT MANDATORY:

MPLS-TP can be run without the assistance of control plane  which is absolutely a MUST HAVE for the MPLS environments. With MPLS-TP paths are setup by the NMS and downloaded into network elements.

4. IN BAND OAM:

All the necessary OAM information is carried inside the MPLS-TP frame; this is called in-band and also termed as ” fate sharing”. Again it is different from the MPLS where this OAM info is carried Out of Band.

5. NO IP FORWARDING:

MPLS-TP can run in an IP free environment; what does it exactly mean ? In traditional routers the IP is run on the interfaces since there is a need for the exchange of the out-of-band control messages. MPLS-TP can be run without IP in the forwarding plane.

5. SEPERATION OF MANAGEMENT/CONTROL  AND DATA PLANE

The failure of control plane in MPLS can affect traffic while this is not true for MPLS-TP. Failure of management plane in MPLS-TP will not affect the data forwarding.

7 thoughts on “How is MPLS-TP different from MPLS?”

  1. Hi Faisal,

    I have one question which one is more suitable for Data Center Connectivity(Banking Sector) as 1 GE link,either we should go for IP MPLS or MPLS TP.

    Br
    Javed

  2. Very Informative Faisal. Many thanks for sharing. Your blogs provide very good insights and make us understand in easy way. The explanation provided in simple way helps in understanding the concepts easily.

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