A stateful Path Computation Element (PCE) maintains information on the current network state received from the Path Computation Clients (PCCs), including computed Label Switched Paths (LSPs), reserved resources within the network, and pending path computation requests. This information may then be considered when computing the path for a new traffic-engineered LSP or for any associated/dependent LSPs. The path-computation response from a PCE helps the PCC to gracefully establish the computed LSP.
The Hierarchical Path Computation Element (H-PCE) architecture allows the optimum sequence of interconnected domains to be selected and network policy to be applied if applicable, via the use of a hierarchical relationship between PCEs.
Combining the capabilities of stateful PCE and the hierarchical PCE would be advantageous. This document describes general considerations and use cases for the deployment of stateful, but not stateless, PCEs using the hierarchical PCE architecture.