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Virtual Label Switch Router (VLSR)


An important objective for the DRAGON Architecture is to be able to provision across heterogenous network technologies and vendor equipment. For vendor equipment which is not GMPLS capable, the concept of the Virtual Label Switch Router (VLSR) is introduced. The VLSR provides a mechanism to integrate non GMPLS equipment and network regions into the end-to-end GMPLS provisioned services. The VLSR translates standard GMPLS protocols into device specific protocols, to allow dynamic reconfiguration of non-GMPLS aware devices. The combination of a PC which runs the GMPLS based control plane software and the switch fabric is referred to as a VLSR. In this release the underlying switch fabric is a RFC 2674 compliant ethernet switch. The architecture is such that different types of switch fabrics can readily be added. In addition methods other than RFC 2674 control could also be added. The GMPLS based control software functionality includes OSPF with GMPLS Traffic Engineering (OPSF-TE) extensions and Resource ReserVation Protocol-Traffic Engineering (RSVP-TE) extensions.

The primary use for VLSR on the DRAGON project is to control Ethernet switches via the GMPLS control plane. However, the VLSR has also been adapted to control TDM and Optical switches.

The basic principles behind the idea of the VLSR are this:

  • Many networks consist of switching components that do not speak GMPLS (existing Ethernet switches, some fiber switches, ...)

  • The VLSR implements open-source versions of the GMPLS signalling and routing protocols which will run on Unix-based PCs
    • GNU Zebra OSPF extended to support GMPLS-OSPF-TE
    • KOM-RSVP extended to support GMPLS-RSVP-TE

  • The VLSR translates GMPLS protocol events into generic pseudo-commands for the covered switches
    • "establish cross-connect", "teardown cross-connect", "query all connections", etc.
    • The pseudo-commands are tailored to each specific vendor/architecture using SNMP, TL1, CLI, XML, or a similar protocol.

Example of VLSR's role in a GMPLS network

VLSR Abstraction

VLSR Abstraction


  • The DRAGON VLSR documentation is maintained on another Wiki.


Stable Releases

  • The DRAGON VLSR software is maintained on another Wiki.

Repository access

  • Please contact us if you would like to gain direct access to DRAGON's code repository.

Mailing Lists

Bug Tracker

  • Currently unavailable due to website changes.
Topic revision: r13 - 2007-02-10 - ChrisTracy
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