Why MPLS used? 3 things you have to know!

Why MPLS is used for?. A very common question among IT Engineers. What are the common use cases of MPLS - Multi-Protocol Label Switching? 

MPLS Use Cases

When it is first invented, 20+ years ago, it was considered one of the most scalable ways of doing VPNs. Faster packet processing could be achieved compared to IP destination-based routing because the IP address was 32 bits long but the Labels are just 20 bits long. But, quickly after the first invention purpose, MPLS VPNs became the most dominant reason for Networks to deploy MPLS - Multiprotocol Label Switching technology. It supported Ethernet over MPLS - EoMPLS, which is known as Point to Point Layer 2 MPLS VPN, and then soon after VPLS, which is Virtual Private Lan Service, vendors started to support.


VPLS is any to any, or also known as many to many technologies. It means you can connect. your multiple sites in Layer 2 and extend IP subnet by using VPLS technology. It works based on a full mesh of Pseudowires. After Pseuodowire based Layer 2 VPNs, MPLS actual boom happened with MPLS Layer 3 VPNs. With MPLS Layer 3 VPN, which is also known as Peer-to-Peer VPN, MPLS CE, and MPLS PE, setup routing protocol neighborship and IP address prefixes are advertised from the CE to PE and between the PE as end-goal being reachability between the CE devices end-to-end.

MPLS VPN PE-CE protocols should be known well by the way and we have blog posts on the website for it.MPLS Layer 2 and MPLS Layer 3 VPN has been used for the most common reason for MPLS and as of 2022, MPLS VPN is the most common use case for network owners to deploy MPLS technology. But recent years, we started to see EVPN technology and its adoption. It quickly became mature and many networks, at least for the last 5 - 6 years have been deploying it. It supports both Layer 2 and Layer 3 MPLS VPNs, though initially it was invented for the MPLS Layer 2 VPN. Other than VPNs, MPLS Traffic Engineering, Carrier Supporting Carrier, Seamless MPLS, and MPLS Transport Profile are some of the architectures, mechanisms, network administrators deploy to get the advantage of.

We just provided a hyperlink, just click on the words to open a blog post about any particular technology. Don't forget, if technology doesn't come up with business benefits, we shouldn't deploy it.

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Orhan Ergun

Orhan Ergun, CCIE/CCDE Trainer, Author of Many Networking Books, Network Design Advisor, and Cisco Champion 2019/2020/2021

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