Available Bit Rate Traffic Engineering in MPLS Networks with Flow-Based Multipath Routing

Nail AKAR  brahim HOKELEK  Ezhan KARASAN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E87-B   No.10   pp.2913-2921
Publication Date: 2004/10/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
MPLS networks,  traffic engineering,  multipath routing,  available bit rate,  

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In this paper, we propose a novel traffic engineering architecture for IP networks with MPLS backbones. In this architecture, two link-disjoint label switched paths, namely the primary and secondary paths, are established among every pair of IP routers located at the edges of an MPLS backbone network. As the main building block of this architecture, we propose that primary paths are given higher priority against the secondary paths in the MPLS data plane to cope with the so-called knock-on effect. Inspired by the ABR flow control mechanism in ATM networks, we propose to split traffic between a source-destination pair between the primary and secondary paths using explicit rate feedback from the network. Taking into consideration the performance deteriorating impact of packet reordering in packet-based load balancing schemes, we propose a traffic splitting mechanism that operates on a per-flow basis (i.e., flow-based multipath routing). We show via an extensive simulation study that using flow-based multipath traffic engineering with explicit rate feedback not only provides consistently better throughput than that of a single path but is also void of out-of-order packet delivery.