NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories have developed a series of products called Type-X that incorporate multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) technology. MPLS is a packet transfer method that is highly compatible with Internet protocol (IP) and traffic engineering. An IP network using Type-X products can achieve high reliability by using MPLS path protection, which restores a data transfer process in a few seconds when a network failure occurs. The Type-X OSS (operations support system), which manages network resources, allows a network to handle various services having various requirements simultaneously. 1. Recent IP network trends Conventional IP networks generally operate on a best-effort basis, sending out as much data as possible and discarding some data if network resources are insufficient. However, best-effort transfer cannot meet the requirements of some recent data communications applications (Fig. 1), which require enough reliability to ensure that not even momentary service interruptions occur. This requires high quality in terms of strict limits on delay and packet loss. Constructing separate networks to meet these requirements would be rather inefficient. It would lead to duplication of network equipment costs and network management/maintenance work. Therefore, the network should handle applications with various features and meet all their requirements. Additionally, networks accommodating multiple users simultaneously must be virtual private networks (VPNs) that are secure against data communications between unauthorized users. One solution to these problems is a highly reliable and managed multi protocol label switching (MPLS) *1 network
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