North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Are SW upgrades needed in MPLS core networks?

  • From: Pekka Savola
  • Date: Fri Feb 06 05:56:14 2004


Ok, let me summarize this off-list poll (7 answers).

Every single responder testified that upgrades are still needed.  No

The type of upgrades can be separated in two: bugfixes (like bugs in
MPLS forwarding, tags, security vulnerabilities, etc.), and feature

(About) everyone also seemed to state that upgrades have been made to
get new features.  These often included e.g.:
 - to support newer hardware,
 - to make interfaces accept higher MTU (e.g., 1536 instead of 1500),
 - to support new features, like Class-of-Service + AQM
 - to facilitate changes and evolution in RSVP, LDP, etc.

As one responder stated, the true advantage is MPLS VPNs, the rest is 
hype. (My note: even though the VPNs can be achieved differently at 
little pain, as one other responder stated.)

The reasoning for this poll was to try to gauge the willingness of the 
operators to make SW upgrades to support new features in the MPLS core 

I had one feature in particular in mind, IPv6.

Based on the results it seems to be easy to conclude that about the
only reason to put IPv6 over [v4 over] MPLS on the networks (rather
than directly on top of the physical infrastructure) is due to the
other reason, because some vendors have sold crappy hardware which
does not support IPv6, or does not offer sufficiently good IPv6

On Mon, 26 Jan 2004, Pekka Savola wrote:
> Just taking a quick poll, as we don't use MPLS and I think this is an 
> interesting thing to know.
> One of the many (maybe misguided) arguments for MPLS is that you don't
> need to perform softwqare (or other similar) upgrades in the core
> network, and the "intelligence" is pushed to the to the edges of the
> MPLS cloud.
> I'd like to get a feel how correct this "argument" is in practice.  
> So, if you have had to upgrade the core equipment, please tell.  If
> you haven't (due to the "MPLS design"), that might be interesting as
> well.  If you had to upgrade, please also indicate the reason for that
> (fixing bugs ("minor upgrade")?  providing new features, if so which
> features? etc.?)
> Please respond off-list if you feel so.  Thanks.

Pekka Savola                 "You each name yourselves king, yet the
Netcore Oy                    kingdom bleeds."
Systems. Networks. Security. -- George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings