MPLS-TE and MPLS VPNs With OpenFlow

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Executive Summary

The authors demonstrate MPLS Traffic Engineering (MPLS-TE) and MPLS-based Virtual Private Networks (MPLS VPNs) using OpenFlow and NOX. The demonstration is the outcome of an engineering experiment to answer the following questions: How hard is it to implement a complex control plane on top of a network controller such as NOX? Does the global vantage point in NOX make the implementation easier than the traditional method of implementing it on every switch, embedded in the data plane? They implemented every major feature of MPLS-TE and MPLSVPN in just 2,000 lines of code, compared to much larger lines of code in the more traditional approach, such as Quagga-MPLS. Because NOX maintains a consistent, up-to-date topology map, the MPLS control plane features are quite simple to implement.

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