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Chapter 3. Information Distribution

Chapter 3. Information Distribution

From Chapter 1, “Understanding Traffic Engineering with MPLS,” you understand the basic motivation behind MPLS Traffic Engineering. From Chapter 2, “MPLS Forwarding Basics,” you understand label switching—how it works and how it's related to IP routing and switching.

But how does MPLS Traffic Engineering really work? What are the underlying protocols, and how do they all tie together? And, most importantly, what do you need to type on your router to make all this wonderful stuff come to life?

The answers to these questions can be broken down into three pieces:

  • Information distribution— How routers know what the network looks like and what resources are available.

  • Path calculation and setup— How routers decide to build TE tunnels, and how these TE tunnels are actually built and maintained.

  • Forwarding traffic down a tunnel— After a tunnel is built, how is it used?

This chapter covers the information distribution piece. It covers the reason for information distribution, what information is distributed, and how the routers can take advantage of this information. This chapter also covers the configuration prerequisites before you can bring up MPLS Traffic Engineering on a router.

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