Monday, November 24, 2008

MPLS In Laymen's Terms

The best way I have been able to explain MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is by drawing a picture depicting the following:

Imagine the internet as an Ocean, large and wide. Full of sharks and other things that can get in the way of your data ... and you are 2 or 3 islands (or how ever many locations the customer has) in that ocean.

A point to point is a bridge that you physically build between these islands that you can transport data on. Generally this is very expensive since you are actually building the bridge.

Frame Relay is like an HOV lane on that higway. There are other users that are able to use your highway that is on the bridge, but you have a select portion that is only yours.

MPLS is a submarine. It is a protected vessle that can go between any of your islands. It is encapsulated and protected and goes underneath the ocean thus being the most protected and versitile method of data/ voice transport.

This is a very basic overview, but if taken to heart and understood in it's simplest terms, can help you move to a newer, more cost effective solution.

MPLS is the new Frame Relay. Using the added capabilities found in MPLS switching, companies are able to prioritize traffic for real-time packets like voice and video.

There are many flavors of MPLS sold by the carriers. The difference is usually based on the classes of service. COS is how you tag traffic for prioritization.

If the customer has a Frame Relay network or ATM or even IP-VPN, MPLS would likely be a beneficial upgrade in cost and quality, especially if the customer uses VOIP or Video.

For help in finding just the right solution involving MPLS .... or any bandwidth configuration for that matter .... take advantage of the no cost help provided here: MPLS Networks

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