Thursday, March 08, 2012

MPLS Networks vs Frame Relay .... Is MPLS Here To Stay?

When considering MPLS Networks vs Frame relay for your network design it's not really a fair comparison.

First, MPLS will not replace Frame Relay. They are not in the same Layer. So let's put that one to rest.

Another way to ask is... what is the future of Frame? It's all but done - there are too many other cost effective ways to transport bits that can maintain an application's throughput requirements.

HOWEVER, there are still active Frame ports out there, and will be for a long time. Just look at how long it took X.25 to fade away.

The FUNNY part is, that the Frame Relay concept is on it's way back; just carried on a lower cost and more accessible transport method.

Of course not all Frame will disappear. Just like some people still have cell phones that have the same basic functionality as they did 15 years ago .... but the rest of us at least have phones with advanced functionality if not smartphones. They may have a very specific reason, or be complacent in upgrading their technology, but that doesn't mean it's a viable product. The carriers want to eliminate those networks because the market has moved to IP and MPLS, for very good reason, and maintaining those old ATM networks are costly.

Another parallel to phones is that the market has moved significantly toward applications (like communication as a service, infrastructure as a service, cloud computing, etc) since MPLS was productized. These applications are the drivers of MPLS networks ... and now VPLS ... and cannot be supported in nearly as efficient, secure or redundant manner with Frame/ATM because of MPLS' QoS, any-to-any connectivity, private network topology, etc.

Frame may not be dead, but it's a dead man walking. Businesses that have it, and agents trying to sell it, need to shift their paradigm. MPLS is here to stay, it's a commodity now for the most part, and the differentiators are what applications and managed services the carriers are running on the network.

For no cost help designing a MPLS network for your business .... including free rate quote comparisons ... simply request assistance here:

MPLS Networks

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