This lab is based on a lab I found on one of the forums, and in this lab we will use GNS3 to create an advanced lab consisting of 12 inter connected Cisco 3640 IOS based routers. We will use this lab to gain a better understanding of how to configure MPLS VPNs. In addition to these technologies we will review basic router configuration along with some other technologies such as OSPF, BGP, NAT, IPSEC and GRE.
MPLS VPN is a collection of methods for leveraging the power of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) to create virtual private networks (VPNs). MPLS VPN gives network engineers the ability to transport and route numerous types of network traffic using the technologies of a MPLS backbone.
“MPLS” and “VPN” are two different technology types. MPLS is a standards-based technology used to speed up the delivery of network packets over multiple protocols – such as the Internet Protocol (IP), Asynchronous Transport Mode (ATM) and frame relay network protocols. A virtual private network (VPN) uses shared public telecom infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide secure access to remote offices and users in a cheaper way than an owned or leased line. VPNs are secure because they use tunneling protocols and procedures such as Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).
When used with MPLS, the VPN feature allows several sites to interconnect transparently through a service provider’s network. One service provider network can support several different IP VPNs. Each of these appears to its users as a private network, separate from all other networks. Within a VPN, each site can send IP packets to any other site in the same VPN.
Each VPN is associated with one or more VPN routing or forwarding instances (VRFs). A VRF consists of an IP routing table, a derived Cisco express forwarding (CEF) table, and a set of interfaces that use this forwarding table. The router maintains a separate routing and CEF table for each VRF. This prevents information being sent outside the VPN and allows the same subnet to be used in several VPNs without causing duplicate IP address problems.
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