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Walking with Packets: Traceroute Through MPLS Cloud

Think about this for a minute: An MPLS network with a two Provider Edge (PE) routers and some Provider (P) routers. The P routers have no VRFs configured on them and therefore have no routes whatsoever for any of the customer networks. A customer then does a traceroute from one of their sites, across the MPLS cloud, and into one of their other sites. The traceroute output shows the P routers as hops along the path.

How is it possible for the P routers to reply to the traceroute if they don’t have routes back to the customer network?

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