Network Course: MPLS and Carrier Packet Networks

Learning Objectives

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Explain the components and basic structure of a carrier packet network including core, provider edge, access and customer edge,

• List three ways carrier packet services are better than dedicated lines or ISDN for wide-area networking,

• Define a Service Level Agreement, Class of Service and traffic profile,

• Define a traffic class and explain what a virtual circuit is, and what virtual circuits are used for,

• Differentiate between a reliable and unreliable Class of Service and what must be done to accommodate the latter, and briefly explain connection-oriented and connectionless communication modes,

• Identify the steps involved in communicating voice in packets, and what transmission characteristics are critical to call quality,

• Briefly describe the characteristics of ATM and the classes of service it was supposed to implement to support telephone calls,

• Show how MPLS is essentially the same thing as X.25, Frame Relay and ATM but with different jargon – and identify that jargon, including defining the meaning and purpose of a label, and identifying where the label is placed in the headers,

• Trace the flow of a message transported by TCP in IP packets over an MPLS network, • Identify the benefit of MPLS compared to Frame Relay from the user's point of view,

• Explain what Differentiated Services are, and how MPLS labels can be used to implement Diff-Serv, and an alternative,

• Explain how and why MPLS can be used to achieve service integration,

• Show how MPLS can be used to aggregate traffic, • Explain what exactly someone means when they say "MPLS service" and explain why "IP service with a service level agreement" would be a more accurate term, and

• Identify two differences between MPLS service and Internet service, and the pros and cons of each.

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