Given the attention MPLS-TP has received in the industry, it is worthwhile to discuss how this technology is different from MPLS. So here is a listing of the differences between the two.
1. MANAGEMENT PLANE SETUP :
LSPs in MPLS-TP can be setup without the use of control plane purely through the management plane. Quite opposite than MPLS which would need routing protocols or RSVP in case of MPLS-TE to set up LSPs. It is as if someone is sitting in the NOC and provisioning the LSPs from NMS centrally.
2. BIDIRECTIONAL LSPs:
Quite common in transport world is to have bidirectional Paths for circuits. In IP world, a traffic setup between two nodes can actually take any path if there is mesh available; not true about MPLS-TP. Though MPLS-TP does support unidirectional LSPs it is the bidirectional LSPs mode for which the transport world will adopt it.
3. CONTROL PLANE IS NOT MANDATORY:
MPLS-TP can be run without the assistance of control plane which is absolutely a MUST HAVE for the MPLS environments. With MPLS-TP paths are setup by the NMS and downloaded into network elements.
4. IN BAND OAM:
All the necessary OAM information is carried inside the MPLS-TP frame; this is called in-band and also termed as ” fate sharing”. Again it is different from the MPLS where this OAM info is carried Out of Band.
5. NO IP FORWARDING:
MPLS-TP can run in an IP free environment; what does it exactly mean ? In traditional routers the IP is run on the interfaces since there is a need for the exchange of the out-of-band control messages. MPLS-TP can be run without IP in the forwarding plane.
5. SEPERATION OF MANAGEMENT/CONTROL AND DATA PLANE
The failure of control plane in MPLS can affect traffic while this is not true for MPLS-TP. Failure of management plane in MPLS-TP will not affect the data forwarding.