Computer Laboratory

Technical reports

Switchlets and resource-assured MPLS networks

Richard Mortier, Rebecca Isaacs, Keir Fraser

May 2000, 16 pages


MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a technology with the potential to support multiple control systems, each with guaranteed QoS (Quality of Service), on connectionless best-effort networks. However, it does not provide all the capabilities required of a multi-service network. In particular, although resource-assured VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) can be created, there is no provision for inter-VPN resource management. Control flexibility is limited because resources must be pinned down to be guaranteed, and best-effort flows in different VPNs compete for the same resources, leading to QoS crosstalk.

The contribution of this paper is an implementation on MPLS of a network control framework that supports inter-VPN resource management. Using resource partitions known as switchlets, it allows the creation of multiple VPNs with guaranteed resource allocations, and maintains isolation between these VPNs. Devolved control techniques permit each VPN a customised control system.

We motivate our work by discussing related efforts and example scenarios of effective deployment of our system. The implementation is described and evaluated, and we address interoperability with external IP control systems, in addition to interoperability of data across different layer 2 technologies.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Mortier, Richard and Isaacs, Rebecca and Fraser, Keir},
  title = 	 {{Switchlets and resource-assured MPLS networks}},
  year = 	 2000,
  month = 	 may,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-510}