What Does MPLS Stand For?
MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Switching Network. MPLS networks are privately owned "cloud" networks that use special tag switches and routers rather than IP addressing to determine source and destination. The multi-protocol aspect means that nearly any data protocol can be transported, making MPLS networks highly versatile.
What are Typical Classes of Service?
Class of Services or CoS is established in MPLS networks to ensure the performance of each packet on the network. CoS classes include real time for voice and video, mission critical for time sensitive applications such as transaction processing, business critical for applications such as database access, and data for lower priority traffic that isn't time sensitive.
Transparent LAN Service
VPLS is sometimes called Transparent LAN service. That’s because WAN communications moves from level 3 to level 2. Your connection to the network is via a managed edge switch that is provided by the network operator. The inherent broadcast nature of Ethernet is preserved, creating a “plug and play” environment as new services are added to the network and discovered by other members connected to the VPLS.
Can MPLS Offer VPN Services?
MPLS networks are inherently virtually private because they are a privately operated network that can only be accessed by network customers. Security is enhanced by proprietary tag switching routers that don't use standard IP routing. Encryption can be added to further improve data security.
MPLS Network Configurations
The MPLS network can be thought of as a cloud that is accessible from many locations. Your service can be set up for a single point to point connection, a hub and spoke replacement for central offices serving many remote locations, or a fully meshed network where any site can communicate with any other site.