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Point-to-Multipoint LSPs Overview

A point-to-multipoint MPLS LSP is an LSP with a single source and multiple destinations. By taking advantage of the MPLS packet replication capability of the network, point-to-multipoint LSPs avoid unnecessary packet replication at the ingress router. Packet replication takes place only when packets are forwarded to two or more different destinations requiring different network paths.

This process is illustrated in Figure 1. Router PE1 is configured with a point-to-multipoint LSP to Routers PE2, PE3, and PE4. When Router PE1 sends a packet on the point-to-multipoint LSP to Routers P1 and P2, Router P1 replicates the packet and forwards it to Routers PE2 and PE3. Router P2 sends the packet to Router PE4.

This feature is described in detail in the Internet drafts draft-raggarwa-mpls-p2mp-te-02.txt (expired February 2004), Establishing Point to Multipoint MPLS TE LSPs, draft-ietf-mpls-rsvp-te-p2mp-02.txt, Extensions to Resource Reservation Protocol-Traffic Engineering (RSVP-TE) for Point-to-Multipoint TE Label-Switched Paths (LSPs), and RFC 6388, Label Distribution Protocol Extensions for Point-to-Multipoint and Multipoint-to-Multipoint Label Switched Paths (only point-to-multipoint LSPs are supported).

Figure 1: Point-to-Multipoint LSPsPoint-to-Multipoint LSPs

The following are some of the properties of point-to-multipoint LSPs:

  • A point-to-multipoint LSP enables you to use MPLS for point-to-multipoint data distribution. This functionality is similar to that provided by IP multicast.

  • You can add and remove branch LSPs from a main point-to-multipoint LSP without disrupting traffic. The unaffected parts of the point-to-multipoint LSP continue to function normally.

  • You can configure a node to be both a transit and an egress router for different branch LSPs of the same point-to-multipoint LSP.

  • You can enable link protection on a point-to-multipoint LSP. Link protection can provide a bypass LSP for each of the branch LSPs that make up the point-to-multipoint LSP. If any of the primary paths fail, traffic can be quickly switched to the bypass.

  • You can configure branch LSPs either statically, dynamically, or as a combination of static and dynamic LSPs.

  • You can enable graceful Routing Engine switchover (GRES) and graceful restart for point-to-multipoint LSPs at ingress and egress routers. The point-to-multipoint LSPs must be configured using either static routes or circuit cross-connect (CCC). GRES and graceful restart allow the traffic to be forwarded at the Packet Forwarding Engine based on the old state while the control plane recovers. Feature parity for GRES and graceful restart for MPLS point-to-multipoint LSPs on the Junos Trio chipset is supported in Junos OS Releases 11.1R2, 11.2R2, and 11.4.