A system of hitless restart in a network, where at least one node in the network provides routing control distributed among ingress ports (ingress cards) and egress ports (egress cards), is disclosed. With distributed routing control, each ingress card has its own routing-control software and each egress card has its own routing-control software. When the routing-software at an ingress port or an egress port of a node is restarted, current connections traversing a restarting ingress card or a restarting egress card continue to function normally during a restart period without data loss. The disclosed system is tailored to a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network employing distributed-resource-reservation-protocol traffic engineering (RSVP-TE). The system relies on messaging between ingress card control planes, ingress card data planes, egress card control planes, and egress card data planes of a restarting node.
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