MPLS Label Modes


Label Distribution Modes

Label distribution deals with how to propagate the information of label bindings throughout the MPLS core and edges. There are few different modes that deal with how labels are distributed and protocols that define the exchange of labels.

  • There are four methods that can be used to distribute MPLS labels bindings:
    • MPLS-LDP - Label Distribution Protocol which is used in MPLS Tunneling and MPLS VPNs.
    • MPLS-RSVP - Resource Reservation Protocol which is mostly used with MPLS Traffic Engineering.
    • MPLS-BGP-Label - BGP send-label feature which is used with MPLS VPN and Inter-AS MPLS.
    • MPLS-Static-Labels - Manual label assignment. Assigning a static label. Similar to a static route.
  • There are two label distribution modes. These relate to the way each LSR sends label bindings to its neighbors

-Unsolicited Downstream (UD)

  • LSR that operate in UD mode distributes all locally assigns label binding to all adjacent LSR routers without neighbors requesting them.
  • UD is the default mode for Cisco routers on all interfaces, except LC-ATM.

-Downstream-on-Demand (DoD)

  • LSR that operates in DoD mode, requests the next-hop label from adjacent LSR for each LSP. This is different than UD, where label bindings are unsolicited.
  • DoD is only used on LC-ATM interfaces by default.

Label Retention Modes

-Liberal Label Retention (LLR)

-Conservative Label Retention (CLR)

LSP Control Modes

-Independent LSP Control Mode

-Ordered LSP Control Mode

Additional Resources

RFC5036 - LDP Specification - IETF
RFC3031 - Multiprotocol Label Switching Architecture - IETF


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