Show 124 – MPLS in the Data Centre is Dead & SDN Changes Nothing

The conversation starts discussing Nexus 5K as a small/mid-size core. Yep, it works. Then Greg gets his Unicorn Riding outfit on and saddles up to run in the SDN race once again. This results in extensive yelling that “MPLS in the Data Centre is dead, SDN will win”. Promptly followed by a cool discussion that SDN/OpenFlow changes very little in networking.

If that’s confusing, you need to listen in.

Basically, MPLS is too complicated to reliably run a data centre. And there is no good way to extract data from an MPLS Network. Plus MPLS does not handle virtual networking and never will.

SDN provides control, visibility and certainty. All hail SDN.


Don’t forget to subscribe to Packet Pushers – Priority Queue

  • Priority Queue is our new high intensity feed that contains shows that are too detailed for the weekly feed, or where we flood out several shows in a short period of time.

Click the logo to subscribe in iTunes: Packet Pushers Weekly Podcast

Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count. He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus.
Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro
  • Michael Gonnason

    No link/player to the podcast from within the post for me, in Chrome or IE. It shows on the front page however.

    • Ethan Banks

      Check now?

      • Michael Gonnason

        You are good!

  • fanttazio

    Same for me like Michael

    • Michael Gonnason

      It seems to be an overall site thing, as I went back and checked other posts that had links/players before and they do not. Maybe a CSS bug of some sort.

  • Ethan Banks

    Guys – we’re seeing this on all the podcast pages. The player is automated via a plugin, and not something we’ve changed, so we’ll have to review to see what’s going on. Thanks for the heads up – we’re looking at it.

    • Ethan Banks

      Should be resolved. Player embed was not working properly, cause vague – it’s all driven by a plugin. I can see the player rendering properly now.

  • Andy

    It is just as possible to use SDN to create an MPLS label table as it is for SDN to program a full flow entry. So when we get to the brave new SDN world, I don’t see why you fear that MPLS would be out of your control and still subject to various routing and signalling protocols. Why wouldn’t your SDN controller build the LSPs?

  • Ethan Banks

    Thanks for noticing – fixed the link.

  • Derick Winkworth

    I can’t wait to listen to this.

  • Patryk

    Gents very open minded I’m glad to hear this perspective from you, considering your expereince with tarditional protocols

  • shivlu jain

    even the MPLS is more from the transport perspective….

  • Randy Manning

    What about Contrail brining MPLS into the hypervisor switch. Or VEPA, get rid of a virtual switch on a server, then MPLS on the ‘control switch’ via eVPN?