(MPLS) A packet switching protocol developed by the IETF. Initially developed to improve switching speed, other benefits are now seen as being more important.
MPLS adds a 32-bit label to each packet to improve network efficiency and to enable routers to direct packets along predefined routes in accordance with the required quality of service. The label is added when the packet enters the MPLS network, and is based on an analysis of the packet header. The label contains information on the route along which the packet may travel, and the forwarding equivalence class (FEC) of the packet. Packets with the same FEC are routed through the network in the same way.
Routers make forwarding decisions based purely on the contents of the label. This simplifies the work done by the router, leading to an increase in speed. At each router, the label is replaced with a new label, which tells the next router how to forward the packet. The label is removed when the packet leaves the MPLS network.
Modern ASIC-based routers can look up routes fast enough to make the speed increase less important. However, MPLS still has some benefits. The use of FECs allows QoS levels to be guaranteed, and MPLS allows IP tunnels to be created through a network, so that VPNs can be implemented without encryption.
MPLS Resource Center (http://mplsrc.com/).
[muhl-tee-pur-puh s, muhl-tahy-] /ˌmʌl tiˈpɜr pəs, ˌmʌl taɪ-/ adjective 1. able to be used for several : a multipurpose lawn spray. /ˌmʌltɪˈpɜːpəs/ adjective 1. able to be used for many purposes: a multipurpose gadget adj. also multi-purpose, 1935, from multi- + purpose (n.).
- Multipurpose vehicle
noun 1. a large car, similar to a van, designed to carry up to eight passengers MPV
- Multi-purpose vehicle
noun any large motor vehicle that can be driven in various conditions and on different terrains, such as off-road; abbr. MPV Examples Most multi-purpose vehicles can hold eight passengers.
[muhl-tee-rey-shuh l, muhl-tahy-] /ˌmʌl tiˈreɪ ʃəl, ˌmʌl taɪ-/ adjective 1. consisting of, representing, or combining members of more than one group: multiracial communities. 2. (of a person) descended from more than one racial group. /ˌmʌltɪˈreɪʃəl/ adjective 1. comprising people of many races adj. also multi-racial, 1923, from multi- + racial.