Lecture 23: Virtual Link Layer

MPLS Routing

The layered nature of the network architecture allows for the substitution of one link-layer technology for another, as we have seen in recent classes; interchangeable use of ethernet or wi-fi, for instance. In this lecture, we explore the idea of inserting an entire network stack as the link-layer technology. We will examine how this virtualization allows ISPs to use an ATM network for high-bandwidth transport between border routers, for instance. We will also look at MPLS, an exciting (fairly) new technology for labeling flows at the link-layer and making routing decisions based on the labels. MPLS is a generic technology that can enable all sorts of interesting business and research opportunities. I highly recommend interested students learn more about MPLS.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to: