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In this paper a novel methodology aimed at minimizing the probability of network failure and the failure impact (in terms of QoS degradation) while optimizing the resource consumption is introduced. A detailed study of MPLS recovery techniques and their GMPLS extensions are also presented. In this scenario, some features for reducing the failure impact and offering minimum failure probabilities at the same time are also analyzed. Novel two-step routing algorithms using this methodology are proposed. Results show that these methods offer high protection levels with optimal resource consumption.