The present disclosure relates to Traffic Engineering path management with Path Computation Elements (PCEs). Specifically, we allow TE paths to stay in a PCE throughout the entire TE path lifecycle. There is a new “controlling” setting to determine whether the PCE is active for that TE path, allowing the PCE to keep the TE path in its inventory even when it does not have control of the TE path. This uses existing work in the Path Computation Client (PCC) to determine its active and backup PCE by listening to what the PCE Protocol (PCEP) says about delegation of the various TE paths it reports from the PCC to the PCE. This also allows per-TE-path granularity control of active/backup status for the PCE. A network operator wants multiple PCEs to control their network, allowing for certain preferred PCEs to normally be active and other less-preferred PCEs to be backup; the presence of backup PCEs allows their networks to operate correctly even when the preferred PCE is inoperable.

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