What is MPLS TP?
Multiprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile, also know as MPLS TP or the “son of MPLS,” is a variation of the standard MPLS that is most utilized in packet switched networks. MPLS TP is the combination of a joint effort between Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF, and International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector, ITU-T, to incorporate a Transport Profile within the IETF, MPLS, and PWE3 structures. MPLS TP effectively utilizes the capabilities of a packet transport network. MPLS TP was originally designed as a type of layer technology to be used within transport networks. MPLS TP grants network providers a dependable packet technology that utilizes circuit transport networking, which aligns with current organizational procedures and wide-range work processes.
How MPLS TP differs from MPLS?
While MPLS TP was derived from MPLS, MPLS-TP still poses many major differences, including LSPs, or Bidirectional Label Switched Paths. MPLS-TP employs non-congruent paths, so traffic from A to B can flow over different paths than traffic from B to A. In addition, MPLS TP also uses point-to-multipoint paths.
Another difference is the non-mandatory control plane. MPLS TP nodes work without a control plane, with traffic across the network calculated exclusively by the network management system.
An additional difference is that there is no IP in the forwarding plane. Typically, MPLS nodes run IP on their interfaces because they have to support the in-band swap of control-plane messages. Despite these differences, MPLS-TP retains nearly all the advantages of MPLS technology while also improving upon some of its major inadequacies.