Derived from a proprietary fast packet switching technique, MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) has played various roles throughout the years. It has been an approach for the deployment of IP over ATM networks, a solution in utilizing ATM hardware within IP networks, a traffic engineering enhancement for IP, and finally a unifying control plane technology.
This tutorial provides an overview of MPLS from its inspiring principles to its various fields of application. By retracing the evolution of MPLS, the tutorial discusses how it became the next technology promising to satisfy present and future networking needs.
After a presenting the basic mechanisms and operating principles of MPLS, the tutorial
discusses the two feature of MPLS that make it a particularly important technology today.
The first one, which the tutorial gives particular emphasis to, is related to enabling traffic engineering. First, the limitations of IP with respect to the realization and operation of large backbones are analyzed. Then, traffic engineering features that enable MPLS to overcome such limitations are illustrated together with their underlying mechanisms and protocols.
The second important feature is related to the control plane of MPLS that, on the one hand, is well integrated with the control plane of IP, on the other hand is suitable for deployment on connection oriented networks. For this reason the control plane of MPLS has become a unifying solution for various network technologies. The tutorial first explains the relation between MPLS and different infrastructure technologies, such as Ethernet, PPP, ATM and FR, DWDM, and circuit switching. Then the control plane of MPLS is described discussing how MPLS signaling protocols are used for set-up and restoration of MPLS Label Switched Paths (LSPs), possibly generalized in terms of circuits, optical channels, and sub-lambda channels.
The participants are expected to have basic knowledge on packet switching and the Internet Protocol Suite.
Dr. Mario Baldi is Associate Professor of Computer Networks and head of the Computer Networks Group (NetGroup) at the Department of Computer Engineering of Politecnico di Torino (Technical University of Turin), Italy and Vice President for Protocol Architecture at Synchrodyne Networks, Inc., New York.
He received his M.S. Degree Summa Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering in 1993, and his Ph.D. in Computer and System Engineering in 1998 both from Politecnico di Torino. He was Assistant Professor on tenure track at Politecnico di Torino from 1997 to 2002. He joined Synchrodyne Networks, Inc. in November 1999.
Mario Baldi has been Honorary Visiting Professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Adjunct Professor at Univerity of Illinois at Chicago, Visiting Professor at Institut de Technologie du Cambodge, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and visiting researcher at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, at Columbia University, New York, NY, and at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), Berkeley, CA.
As part of his extensive research activity at Politecnico di Torino, Mario Baldi has been leading various networking research projects, involving Universities and industrial partners, funded by European Union, Local Government, and various companies, including Telecommunications Carriers, such as Infostrada and Telecom Italia, and research institutions, such as Telecom Italia Labs and Microsoft Research.
Mario Baldi provides on a regular basis consultancy and training services, both directly to companies and through various training and network consultancy centers.
He co-authored over 70 papers on various networking related topics and two books, one on internetworking and one on switched local area networks.
Mario Baldi is co-inventor in two patents issued by the United States Patent Office in the field of optical networking, in fourteen applications to the United States Patent Office in the fields of high performance networking and security, and two applications to International Patent Offices in the field of high performance networking.
His research interests include internetworking, high performance switching, optical networking, quality of service, multimedia over packet networks, voice over IP, and computer networks in general.