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RE: MPLS VPNs or not?

  • From: Kavi, Prabhu
  • Date: Tue Aug 07 17:44:57 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel Golding [mailto:[email protected]]
> The scary thing is that the "speed" of MPLS-based networks is taken as
> gospel by an alarming number of engineers, mainly those who 
> have come out of
> the large telco's (i.e. ILECs), and are still kind of mad 
> that ATM didn't
> work out. These folks are more or less alarmed by IP, and 
> desperately seek a
> more deterministic, switch-based model of data transmission 
> for the Internet
> as a whole. The fact that there is no practical, real-world 
> difference in
> forwarding speed between straight IP, and IP over MPLS is generally
> explained away by these guys in a fairly elaborate handwaving 
> exercise. At
> least one major hardware vendor is not helping this, with 
> some of their
> engineers convincing major customers that conventional IP 
> routing is bad,
> and that anything MPLS is good. While I agree that MPLS has 
> it's uses - i.e.
> TE as an exception handling mechanism for outages, and L2VPN 
> technology as a
> FR/ATM replacement, some folks need to approach the technology with
> additional caution, and not blindly embrace it as a panacea. 
> As the internet
> engineering community evolves, learning from things like ATM, 
> becomes quite
> important.
> - Daniel Golding

I completely agree with this type of pragmatism.  A couple of 
years ago, MPLS had only one viable application-TE for core IP
networks.  The implementations were buggy at first, but they have
certainly improved.  Nobody was *forced* to use it, but some 
service providers saw advantages to deploying it.  

Today, MPLS has more applications, such as routing optical 
lightpaths, L3 VPNs, L2 VPNs, and more applications will come.
Again, nobody is *forced* to use any of them.  Some of these 
applications may provide significant business advantage, some 
of them may crash the network.  

IMHO, it is a Good Thing(TM) that vendors are coming up with 
these new applications, because it gives service providers
multiple choices in terms of the types of service they could
offer, assuming they were willing to take the risk in deploying 
these services.

If you don't NEED protocol X, where X=[RFC 2547, QoS, L2VPNs, 
GMPLS, pick your favorite proposal here], don't use it.  If 
you don't LIKE protocol X it, don't use it, and hope that:

	A.) Your competitors deploy it, and 
	B.) Your hunch was right and you make more money than
          your competitors as the result of your decision.

Ultimately, we should let the market decide.  

Prabhu Kavi                     Phone:  1-978-264-4900 x125 
Director, Adv. Prod. Planning   Fax:    1-978-264-0671
Tenor Networks                  Email:  [email protected]
100 Nagog Park                  WWW:
Acton, MA 01720