Thursday, March 15, 2012

MPLS Networks Are A Good Choice For An International WAN

Choosing MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) may appear to be the hot new technology. The reality is that MPLS networks as a concept really isn't new. For today's international networks it is extremely useful, and it has become very easy to deploy and widely available from a consumer point-of-view. In my opinion, it is the de facto standard for international WANs (wide area networks).

However, more recently VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service) migration is becoming popular. VPLS offers the ability to run layer 2 (Ethernet VLANs) and layer 3 (MPLS) on the same port. This ability can be very advantageous to separate and push secure connections, raw Internet, general WAN, and other connections out to the branch office as needed.

VPLS is flexible and can run over DSL, T-1, T-3, Metro Ethernet, OC-3, etc. like MPLS, but is not yet as widely available as MPLS. Depending on the provider, you can also mix VPLS with MPLS on the same WAN. All offices would then see each other as being on the same MPLS network, but the VPLS offices would be able to share VLANs. VPLS also has the advantage of always being an Ethernet handoff from the WAN service provider to the consumer, regardless of the technology used to reach your site. With MPLS, you may need DSL, T-1, T-3, Ethernet, OC-3, or some other connection in your router depending on the bandwidth and port provided.

I tend to see MPLS as the current standard and VPLS as the future.

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MPLS Networks

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