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Book Review: MPLS Fundamentals from Cisco Press

If you are in the market for a good MPLS resource, check out the Cisco Press book MPLS Fundamentals: A Comprehensive Introduction to MPLS Theory and Practice. I've nearly finished reading this over the past few weeks and it's definitely a great place to start if you have never really worked with MPLS.

Of course, everyone is still waiting for an MPLS CBT Nugget from Jeremy.  However, until something like that is created - if you need to know more about the technology this is a great resource.

Each chapter includes a standard introduction and learning objectives. The various topics and sections are well laid out. The ATM chapter seems a bit dated, but there are still legacy networks lingering out there that may require some knowledge on the topic. Each chapter ends with a set of review questions to test your knowledge.

While reading this book, I would recommend you have a lab to practice the commands. Even if it's a simple three router triangle, you can configure the "mpls ip" interface command, run show commands to see labels get assigned, and run debug and show commands to verify LDP is operating correctly.

For reference, the table of contents for this book are as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Part 1 - Fundamentals of MPLS
    •  Chapter 1 - The Evolution of MPLS
    •  Chapter 2 - MPLS Architecture Location has bookmarks
    •  Chapter 3 - Forwarding Labeled Packets
    •  Chapter 4 - Label Distribution Protocol
    •  Chapter 5 - MPLS and ATM Architecture
    •  Chapter 6 - Cisco Express Forwarding
  • Part 2 - Advanced MPLS Topics
    •  Chapter 7 - MPLS VPN
    •  Chapter 8 - MPLS Traffic Engineering
    •  Chapter 9 - IPv6 over MPLS
    •  Chapter 10 - Any Transport over MPLS
    •  Chapter 11 - Virtual Private LAN Service
    •  Chapter 12 - MPLS and Quality of Service
    •  Chapter 13 - Troubleshooting MPLS Networks
    •  Chapter 14 - MPLS Operation and Maintenance
    •  Chapter 15 - The Future of MPLS
  • Part 3 - Appendixes
    •  Appendix A - Answers to Chapter Review Questions

If you know of any other good MPLS resources, feel free to link them in the comments below.

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Another MPLS Book

I really like MPLS-Enabled Applications: Emerging Developments and New Technologies, 3rd Ed. It's about as up-to-date as a book can be and has a good overview of a lot of MPLS technologies. It's not quite as basic as MPLS Fundamentals so I still recommend MPLS Fundamentals as a good introduction to MPLS, especially if one works with Cisco gear.

Also a useful

I've found the Luc De Ghein

I've found the Luc De Ghein book to be very clear when it came to explaing MPLS and it's applications. Even had the answer to a lab scenario in there though I didn't know it until the lab was over.

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