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September 25, 2017
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Meshed MPLS Networks Link Multiple WANs
New MPLS VPN solution ties together MPLS networks and access connections from various carriers.

By: John Shepler

MPLS networks have risen to prominence lately as replacements for old-school Frame Relay networks that link multiple business locations. MPLS networks are highly popular because of their ability to transport nearly any protocol with high quality and reliability. One remaining wish has been the ability to use a multitude of carriers at various locations and still have them interconnected by a managed MPLS network. That desire has now been realized.

What's New?
AireSpring, one of the fastest growing and most innovative competitive carriers, is now offering what they call a Meshed MPLS Network. Just what does such a networking scheme do and how is it different from the meshed network connections inherent in any MPLS network?

The Basic MPLS Network
MPLS networks can be thought of as classic clouds. You connect each of your locations to the cloud by means of a last-mile access network and then instruct the MPLS network operator how each location should connect to the others. These can be private point to point links, a star network with corporate headquarters at the center, or a meshed network arrangement. The meshed approach is highly popular because it allows any location to communicate with any other location at will. You don’t have to be actively managing or even monitoring the network, as the service provider takes care of that.

The One Provider Limitation
The one fly in the ointment is that you need to contract with one MPLS network provider for all your connections. That service provider will take care of getting the access connections, even if it means subleasing copper or fiber from another carrier. But what if you already have contracts with carriers to provide MPLS mesh networks for particular geographical territories?

Do You Have Multiple WANs?
This can happen easily if your company grew by mergers and acquisitions. It can also happen in decentralized organizations or conglomerates of businesses that haven’t traditionally had a need to connect with each other. Not all carriers have a nationwide footprint. It’s common for some carriers to be strong in parts of the country and not have a presence at all in others. All of this results in the head-scratching problem of how you tie together disparate WAN networks.

The Meshed MPLS NNI
This is the problem that AireSpring’s Meshed MPLS Network solution addresses. Their MPLS Mesh (tm) creates a NNI (Network to Network Interface) that ties together multiple carrier solutions running at T-1 or higher speeds into one MPLS Virtual Private Network. You then have the choice of linking all of your sites into a single IP network or segmenting your data into multipole secure networks. Note that the segmenting can now be logical and not geographical.

Advantages of Meshed MPLS
Meshed MPLS technology gives companies a flexibility that they haven’t had before. You can now pick and choose which carrier you want to serve which locations to minimize your telecom costs. Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms ensure that you can converge your entire network for voice, data and video. Your critical business applications will get the prioritization that they need for high quality performance.

Can A Meshed MPLS Solution Help You?
Are you frustrated with your current hodge-podge of disparate telecom services that don’t quite perform the way you need and cost you a small fortune? It’s time to take a look a consolidating all that with a more advanced networking solution. Get MPLS network service pricing and features for all your business locations now. You’ll likely find you can have higher performance and lower cost at the same time.

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