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Trainer Keith Barker walks you through the concepts, implementation and verification of an MPLS network with an emphasis on the MPLS application of L3VPNs....
Trainer Keith Barker walks you through the concepts, implementation and verification of an MPLS network with an emphasis on the MPLS application of L3VPNs.

Recommended skills:
  • Hands-on experience with IGPs such as OSPF, RIP and EIGRP
  • Fundamental knowledge of BGP
  • CCNA level (or equivalent experience) with Cisco’s IOS is recommended

Recommended equipment:
  • GNS3 and a Cisco IOS image (12.x or 15.x) which includes the MPLS feature set
  • Live gear, with an IOS image supporting MPLS could be used instead of the GNS3 emulation

Related certifications:
  • Cisco Service Provider related CCNA, CCNP and CCIE certifications. The same concepts apply to other vendors (and their certifications) that include MPLS such as Juniper and HP.

Related job functions:
  • Network Designer
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Technician

Service providers and large enterprises can use features such as MPLS L3VPNs to tunnel traffic from one site to another, forwarding the traffic over the provider’s core IPv4 network using label switching. This has multiple benefits including flexibility, support for multiple protocols, simplification of the routing tables in the network core and centralized control of the MPLS L3VPNs.

1. Welcome to MPLS Fundamentals (4 min)
2. The Big Picture (10 min)
3. Label-Based Forwarding (22 min)
4. Implementing MPLS (28 min)
5. LDP (32 min)
6. LSP Path Selection (19 min)
7. LIBs, FIBs and RIBs (17 min)
8. Transport Address (17 min)
9. MPLS L3VPN Architecture (21 min)
10. PE to PE MBGP (19 min)
11. VRFs (31 min)
12. CE to PE Routing (20 min)
13. Redistribution (32 min)
14. Control and Data Plane Verification (32 min)
15. VRF Enabled Utilities (19 min)

Welcome to MPLS Fundamentals


Hello, my name is Keith Barker. And on behalf of the entire CBT Nuggets family, welcome to MPLS fundamentals. Let's begin. I'd like you to imagine that it's a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. And you and I have just gotten back to the office from a great lunch.


And as we get back to the office, we're met by our boss, who asks us, hey, can you explain to me a little bit about this MPLS I've been hearing all about? Now wouldn't it be fantastic if you and I could explain MPLS to our manager in just a few minutes, about the basic concepts? And even better yet, explain some of the reasons that we love MPLS today.


Such as MPLS-enabled applications, like Layer 3 VPNs. Well my friend, our objective for you and I in this course is simple. And that is to build the skills regarding identifying what MPLS and MPLS applications are. How they work. How to configure it, verify it, and troubleshoot it.


And as you and I go through this course together, that's exactly the skills that you'll have as you participate along with me through each of the videos in this course. So the lab that we're going to build in the course, and I'm also encouraging you as you go along to build it on your own as well, you can either use GNS3 to do it. Or if you have live gear, you can use live gear.


And as we start to implement the basics of MPLS, which happens right here in video 4, every video I'm going to be encouraging you, every step along the way, to do what you see me do in your practice environment. And as you practice, practice, practice, and do what you see us do in this video, your skills will improve, and improve, and improve.


And as we continue, you'll not only know what these concepts are about, you'll be able to implement them and troubleshoot them. So here's the topology that we're going to be using inside of our course. And there are quite a few pieces that are involved. All of these little components are ingredients that go into the recipe called MPLS Layer 3 VPNs. Which is one of several MPLS applications.


And as you and I go through these videos in order, step by step, in addition to your skills improving and your understanding increasing regarding MPLS and MPLS applications, you and I are also going to have a boatload of fun as we go through these videos together.


Now to optimize your time, get the most you possibly can out of this course, there are a couple of really basic prerequisites. Number one, you should have a basic understanding of routing protocols. So you've configured and worked with things like RIP, OSPF, and EIGRP before on a Cisco iOS router.


It would also be helpful if you have a basic knowledge of Border Gateway Protocol, and have configured it on a Cisco router as well. Now you do not have to be an expert on either of those. However, it will help, as each of those are ingredients that go into this recipe for MPLS applications.


Such as MPLS Layer 3 VPNs. So for individuals who don't have that experience yet with routing protocols, you can go check out CCNA that Jeremy teaches here at CBT Nuggets, it's fantastic. And he also has a Border Gateway Protocol course, also here at CBT Nuggets.


The other thing that I've included for you is a whole bunch of resources in the Nuggetlab files. So when you're watching this video at, there's a little link for Nuggetlab files. You can download all these files. And as part of the Nuggetlab files, I've got topologies that you might want to download and have separate so you can view them while you're doing your practice and your configuration.


I've got the configurations for the various routers, as well as the commands, in many cases that we're using in class. So for example, if we're adding the routing protocol between the customer edge and the provider edge, or we're implementing multi-protocol BGP between R1 and R5, I've included those scripts. The actual commands that I'm using in the videos, so that you can have them for your reference.


Because my intention is for you to build this alongside me. Because as you mix in the practice aspect, to watch, learn, and conquer, in addition to knowing how MPLS Layer 3 VPNs work, you can also have some hands-on practice with them. I am super excited about spending this time with you in this course.


And I've kept the intro fairly short, so we can jump right into the next video, where we'll take a look at the big picture overview of an MPLS Layer 3 VPN. So I'll see you in that next video. Meanwhile, I hope this has been informative for you. And I'd like to thank you for viewing.

The Big Picture

Label-Based Forwarding

Implementing MPLS


LSP Path Selection

LIBs, FIBs and RIBs

Transport Address

MPLS L3VPN Architecture



CE to PE Routing


Control and Data Plane Verification

VRF Enabled Utilities

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Intermediate 5 hrs 15 videos


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Keith Barker
Nugget trainer since 2012