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firebat
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Why are folks asking for MPLS support?

Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:00 am

Looking at the Router OS feature request list, there are quite a few folks requesting MPLS support. Are people's networks that large that they need MPLS for performance and scalability improvement? Next, folks will be asking for MPLS VPN support. :shock: Just curious?
 
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bjohns
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Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:14 am

There's a lot MPLS offers, the first thing that springs to mind is enabling multiple ISPs to share the same infrastructure, such as Hotspots.

As for size, I think quite a few people here have sizable networks. I feel small with 50 hotspots and 25 APs/clients located throughout the east coast of Australia compared to others here.
 
firebat
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Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:53 am

That would make sense if they have a lot of routes and they couldn't afford the lookup times or the routers are resource limited. I'm not sure how this will enable multiple ISPs to share resources? Once you enter the MPLS core, all MPLS is doing is performing label lookups in the MPLS database by prefix for next hop instead of IP destination based IP lookups at each hop. I would want MPLS L3VPNs as that would actually be useful for providing core transport services for interconnecting and isolating customer sites and do away with full mesh topologies.

Are most folks assuming MPLS support is standard IP MPLS plus MPLS TE, QOS, and VPN support?
 
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bjohns
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Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:51 pm

I don't know what you're getting at. But if I was a network provider (meaning that I have a bunch of routing/switching/wireless gear interconnected together) and I wanted to share that with other entities, I would much rather just use MPLS and not worry about all the IP etc - they use whatever they want to use over it.

So yes, MPLS VPNs is what I would use. Reduced route processing is not really a feature these days. QoS would be a handy feature if you wanted to differentiate access I guess.

I'm merely looking at this from an ISP's perspective. How MPLS would be used otherwise is something I haven't thought about.
 
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ghmorris
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Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:33 pm

Yes, MPLS VPN support.

We use a lot of EoIP today. What we need going forward is intelligent best-path routing and QoS to create a modern, managable, scalable equivalent of our EoIP tunnels.

We are moving in the direction of several virtual layers on each physical access point, some for different customers, some for different applications within a customer, some for different ISPs for "Open Access", some for backhauling different kinds of public or private HotSpots to centralized controllers.

We want to be able to move customer traffic between sites at layer 2 from the customer perspective. It should look like a piece of Cat 5 to them.

We are putting a lot of work into redundant pathing, although some paths will have much lower capacity than others.

MPLS seems to fit the bill well to transport traffic in such an environment, but then again I may be confused.

George
 
firebat
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Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:37 pm

George:

Yes, MPLS VPNs will do exactly what you want. No more painful L2TPs or other tunnel types needed and if your core is engineered correctly, you'll be able to provide better QOS.

BJOHNS:

What I was getting at is that folks need to be asking for specific MPLS features. Basic IP MPLS isn't going to buy users much unless their routers are loaded with a large number of routes and they have high CPU UTIL. Mikrotik has to get IP MPLS working first and then they can add other MPLS features: TE/QOS/VPN. MPLS VPNs will take time to implement as they have to support separate vrf tables for each vpn, propogate routes from PE to PE per VRF, consider the most typical route mix to be used for MPLS VPNs and normal IP on the same box and design the most optimal hashing/look up tables per vrf prefix to save memory. So basically, folks need to be asking for MPLS VPNs if that is what they want :D Then we can request other MPLS features. I'd use MPLS VPNs if they were avaliable but I don't really need IP MPLS.
 
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ghmorris
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:42 pm

A useful thread Firebat, thank you!

George
 
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Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:25 pm

I have been working with MPLS for some time now. Most of my experience is Cisco and Juniper router based, but current solutions is pretty expensive considering that I use Mikrotik bridged and use a Cisco/Juniper Router to do MPLS. It would be great to intregrate both into the same structure.

MPLS offers a lot of features including:

Failsafe routing
Policy routing
QoS
Fail safe routes
Load-balancing
Advanced VPN support
 
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stephenpatrick
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Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:04 pm

... adding a comment from a vendor rather than user angle ...
We sell own-brand products based on RouterOS running on our own HW.
Many end-customer tenders require MPLS as a feature: as in "required not optional". These tenders tend to be for telecom or government network roll-outs.

I'm sure many networks could be built without MPLS, but by the time it's a public tender, there's no opportunity to go to them and say "you don't need this". It's a case of "have the feature, you can bid: without, you can't".

So we're all hoping to see MPLS sooner rather than later ...

Regards

CableFree Solutions
CableFree - Wireless Excellence - Microwave, E-band Radios, Free Space Optics, High performance Radios & Routers
http://www.cablefree.net
 
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savagedavid
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Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:58 am

After speaking to the Mikrotik guys at MUM it would seem that adding MPLS capabilities is an extremely complicated procedure. It is under consideration, but I think that most effort is being put into getting a stable ROS3 version suitable for release. Once that is in place additional features like MPLS will be considered.

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