Are active-active network configurations possible over MPLS?

Telecom expert Mike Jude explains how to create an active-active network configuration for load sharing and backup in an MPLS implementation, in this expert response.

I am looking to create an active-active network configuration for a particular site. I would like the primary and backup circuits to be both active at the same time and for load sharing across the two circuits. Is an active-active network configuration possible on an MPLS implementation?

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), by itself, is not a load-balancing standard for data transfer.  It is a prioritization...

approach that allows different signal sources to be delivered at varying levels of service quality and latency.  However, using MPLS to define two virtual circuits could theoretically allow you to place load balancing appliances on both ends that would utilize the two circuits in an active-active and fault-tolerant configuration.  In other words, MPLS defines the circuits, but you would need additional equipment to define the sessions. Here are a few articles on load balancers from TechTarget:

Email your MPLS-related questions to editor@searchenterprisewan.com.

This was first published in June 2012

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