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L2TPv3 vs MPLS in the CORE....



Are there any real pros or cons with using L2TPv3 in the Core vs using MPLS?

Why would one utilize L2TPv3 over MPLS in the core?

Both work but what would be the deciding factors for an engineer to deploy on over the other.

Thanks !!

4 Replies 4

Rising star
Rising star

Utlize L2TPv3 in the Core?..can you please elaborate a little on the query.

On a overview note:

1) L2TPv3 is a different technology which caters more for L2 forwarding between edges,

where as MPLS is more of a Core technology.

Having many service features under it like, L3VPN,L2VPN,MVPN, TE etc.. So they can not be compared, or other way round its comparing apples to oranges.

Lines can be drawn only between L2VPN and L2TPv3 for comparision.

L2VPN has to be provided to the end user by a service provider (end use also can do it, if he can lay MPLS core between his end sites), where as L2TPv3 can be implemented on your own with plain IP reachability between the end points.




Yeah, you are right! I should have elaborated further!!

1. Actually, with some SP's, MPLS is deployed on the edges (to segregate cust. traffic) while L2TPv3 is deployed in the core. Why complicate matters with MPLS in the core with already IP running-Just a multipoint l3vpn l2tpv3 tunnel would work!!

Whereas I have also seen L2TPv3 work in the edge with MPLS in the core (Lab environment only)....

But thank you for your response.... and Harold's too.

Good to know.


Harold Ritter
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Both L2TPv3 and MPLS can be used to deliver L2VPN and L3VPN services.

To me, One of the most important factor to decide between two technologies would be the customer base for each of these technologies.

There is no doubt in my mind that currently, there is way more SPs using MPLS in their core than L2TPv3.

Hope this helps,

Harold Ritter
Sr Technical Leader
CCIE 4168 (R&S, SP)
México móvil: +52 1 55 8312 4915
Cisco México
Paseo de la Reforma 222
Piso 19
Cuauhtémoc, Juárez
Ciudad de México, 06600

Maybe what is he is looking is MPLS-VPN over IP Tunnel, which using L2TPv3, and since it uses multi point tunnel, each PE will just need to configure 1 Tunnel, and it will dynamically discover the other, PE hence full mesh. See the below link

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