Thursday, November 29, 2012

MPLS Explained

Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a standardized protocol to enable high performance IP networks. It provides fast response time for applications running on your WAN, security without scaling problems and with a lower cost structure. To both simplify and increase the efficiency of the network, the MPLS protocol enables data to be transmitted efficiently across a network infrastructure utilizing a technology known as “label switching.” This is much more effective than running a VPN over the Internet.

Key application: MPLS enables the creation of secure, reliable VPNs which are simple to manage, easy to deploy and which provide Class of Service/Quality of Service (QoS) support. The result is a single integrated IP network which supports quality of service, which is the key advantage in an application rich environment. This means you can implement VoIP and prioritize your applications ahead of the best-effort non-critical data. You have the reliability & security of legacy technologies like Frame Relay with the routing flexibility of IP. For applications such as Siebel, Oracle, Peoplesoft and other client-server applications, the productivity gains using MPLS versus a VPN over the Internet are substantial. If you use a Frame Relay, MPLS will improve your network flexibility, simplify management and reduce your costs.

Now that you know what MPLS is, let us explain how the system works. As your corporate data enters the carrier network, a label is attached to each packet. This label uniquely identifies your Virtual Private Network (VPN) in a shared infrastructure and keeps it private. Upon reaching its destination, the label is removed, returning the data packet to its original state. The process is seamless and unnoticeable to end-users. One can think of MPLS in this context as a “special delivery courier service” for your network data.

The “label” essentially replaces traditional Internet packet forwarding, where complicated address matching is performed at each hop in the network. The label describes how the packet should be handled within the network and thus assigns the packet to a Class of Service (CoS). Thus, all packets which belong to the same CoS get treated in the same way and quickly are sped along their way.

The result is that your data traffic is delivered quickly and securely and your applications perform faster than with other technologies, such as running a VPN over the Internet.

To learn how your business can best take advantage of MPLS to meet your business network requirements, including a comparison of available providers, simply request a free quote here ...

MPLS Network Solution

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