Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Is MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)?

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a mechanism in high-performance telecommunications networks which directs and carries data from one network node to the next. MPLS makes it easy to create "virtual links" between distant nodes. It can encapsulate packets of various network protocols.

MPLS is a highly scalable, protocol agnostic, data-carrying mechanism. In an MPLS network, data packets are assigned labels. Packet-forwarding decisions are made solely on the contents of this label, without the need to examine the packet itself. This allows one to create end-to-end circuits across any type of transport medium, using any protocol. The primary benefit is to eliminate dependence on a particular Data Link Layer technology, such as ATM, frame relay, SONET or Ethernet, and eliminate the need for multiple Layer 2 networks to satisfy different types of traffic. MPLS belongs to the family of packet-switched networks.

Basically, MPLS refers to the technological operation that is more properly known as multi-protocol label switching. Essentially, MPLS is an operating scheme that is used to speed up the flow of traffic on a network by making better use of available network paths. The main thrust of the idea is to define or designate the proper path for each function so that the opportunity for bottlenecks within the network are minimized.

The flexibility of MPLS has led to it becoming the default way for modern networks to achieve Quality of Service (QoS), next generation VPN services, and optical signaling. MPLS deployment is the perfect solution for connecting multiple geographically dispersed locations .... no matter whether they are seperated by relatively short distances (e.g. same town or state) ... or more widely dispersed distances (e.g. multiple states).

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MPLS Network Solution

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