Any of you who have worked with VPLS or NG-MVPNs are likely already familiar with using Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP) LSPs to get traffic from a single ingress PE to multiple egress PEs. The reason that P2MP LSPs are desired in these cases is that it can reduce unnecessary replication by doing so only where absolutely required, for example where a given P2MP LSP must diverge in order to reach two different PEs.
However, typically the sub-LSPs which are part of a given P2MP LSP traverse the shortest-path from ingress to egress based on whatever user defined constraints have been configured. While this is fine for many applications, additional optimizations might be required such that additional bandwidth savings can be realized.
We will take a look at something called a Steiner-Tree which can help the network operator to realize these additional savings, when warranted, reducing the overall bandwidth used in the network and fundamentally changing the way in which paths are computed. Continue reading “What’s a Steiner Tree?”