Cost Advantages of MPLS Networks
If you have multiple locations to line, MPLS can save you money compared to Frame Relay and other networking solutions.
By: John Shepler
MPLS networks are becoming more and more of a standard telecom service offering. If you have multiple locations to link, you need to know about MPLS. Why? Because you could be saving a bundle over your current connectivity solution.
It's Cloud Networking
You’ve heard of cloud networks? MPLS is a cloud networking technology. This is different that cloud computing or cloud storage because MPLS is only about making connections. Whether you do anything within the cloud is another matter. This is about transport, or getting packets from point to point.
MPLS networks are privately owned and operated. If you want to get on the MPLS network, you’ll need to make arrangements with a MPLS service provider. It’s not like the Internet, which is open to anyone and everyone. The advantage of this premium-grade bandwidth service is that the MPLS network operator can guarantee bandwidth and quality of service.
Premium Service Without The Premium Price
But doesn’t premium-grade mean premium price? Not really. You need to compare apples to apples. In this case, you need to compare what you pay to use the MPLS network with what it costs to maintain the same quality connections another way. Traditionally, that other way has been proprietary company networks constructed from dedicated point to point lines or Frame Relay Networks.
Frame Relay is actually the ancestor to MPLS. It was developed for the same purpose. That was to connect geographically diverse locations with reliable and secure data links. Frame Relay networks served us well for decades. But they were designed in an era of much lower bandwidths, prior to the onslaught of audio, video and massive file sizes.
MPLS Is The Universal Network
MPLS is the upgrade to Frame Relay. It can handle anything you need to transport in any format. The letters M-P-L-S stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching. Multi-Protocol means that this network can handle voice, data, video and even TDM services such as switched circuit telephony. The built-in quality of service mechanisms ensure that each service gets the network characteristics it needs. You don’t have to worry about large data transfers causing your phone calls to drop.
The bargain pricing offered by MPLS networks is that the cloud is efficiently utilized to handle traffic from multiple clients. That way, you are only paying for what you need. You can always add more locations or bandwidth if the need arises. Try doing that with proprietary networks.
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