Demystifying the MPLS Network
Because there is sometimes a lack of understanding about MPLS networks and confusion surrounding its uses and benefits, recently Caroline R. Partin attempted to clarify some misconceptions by explaining what it is all about.
In trying to get even the most technological challenged user to better comprehend MPLS, Partin wrote that MPLS is not a product or a service, but rather a technique. The abbreviation stands for multi protocol label switching. That means, according to Partin, it labels the different packets in a network, thus enabling faster transfers and processes.
Partin added, “The procedure results in the creation of virtual private networks or VPN’s, which provide a flexibility to route different type of network data and information.” In fact, wrote Partin, the technology is mostly used by network engineers so that they can divert and lead traffic through congestion, bottlenecks, and even link failures.
In essence, there are three basic types of MPLS virtual private networks that are deployed today. The first type is known as point-to-point or the pseudowire VPN. This type of VPN makes use of virtual leased lines to be able to provide a point-to-point connection between two specific sites.
Another type of VPN network that can be used in an MPLS network is the Layer 2 VPN. This is also sometimes known as the VPLS or virtual private LAN service that provides a switch in the cloud type of service. In other words, the network is able to cover the area between sites. As per this report, “This type of MPLS VPN is most commonly used in the transfer of voice and video traffic between different locations.”
The last type of MPLS VPN is the Layer 3 VPN or the VPRN. It stands for virtual private routed network and makes use of layer 3 virtual routing and forwarding to make routing between individual clients and the service provider possible. It is touted as the most complex type of multi protocol label switching and is not usually applied on utility networks. However, it is the most supportive for businesses and corporate companies as it directs and diverts traffic between the corporations and data center locations.
In short, MPLS is a relatively new form of technology that is simply described as one of the latest wide area network services available. Wide area network usually means that permanent virtual circuits or PVC’s are required.
“What is more advantageous about the MPLS network is the fact that it allows each area and circuit to utilize the full speed of the service,” she notes.
To ensure 24/7/365 operations of business-critical applications such as VoIP, financial transactions, Citrix, ERP systems, ecommerce, video, etc., enterprises are challenged to meet increasingly complex wide area network (WAN) management and performance requirements while securing the transactions, replacing aging hardware and ensuring disaster recovery. With the lower total cost of ownership, MPLS-based solutions are rapidly growing in popularity for medium-to-large enterprises with multiple locations across a wide range of industries, managed services provider Untied Network Services Inc. added.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein