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September 25, 2017
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MPLS Providers Link Geographically Diverse Locations
How MPLS cloud networks connect multiple business locations over near and far distances.

By: John Shepler

It’s common for businesses to have multiple locations that need to be tied together with voice, data and sometimes video services. These can be branch offices, remote data centers, warehouses, franchises, factories and other business locations. What’s needed is a simple, cost effective way to link geographically diverse locations. MPLS service providers are ready to do just that.

Why MPLS?
After all, there have been telecommunications services available for decades that can link one site to another. T1 point to point lines are readily available just about anywhere you need service. The public telephone network connects any phone to any other phone in the world. So what is it that MPLS networks have to offer that is new and different?

Cloud Networks
What MPLS is all about is privately owned and operated networks that serve large regions of the United States, some with national and even international footprints. These are what are also called “cloud networks.” The beauty of the cloud is that you don’t personally have to worry about the intricacies of wiring up and operating the many, many connections linking sites within the cloud. That’s all taken care of by the MPLS service providers. All you need is a link to the MPLS network from each of your locations. The network operator takes care of setting up the connections among your sites per your specification.

Similarities and Differences With The Internet
You might think that MPLS networks sound a bit like the Internet, and you’d be right. The similarity is in the way they make connections from anywhere to anywhere else. But that’s where the similarity ends. The Internet is a public resource with no quality of service mechanisms. If particular nodes get congested, packets wait or get lost. The Internet automatically sets up routing on the fly, so you never really know how your packets are getting from point A to point B. They just do somehow.

Predictable Performance
MPLS networks are engineered around predictable and dependable performance. Routing is done by a proprietary tagging protocol unique to MPLS networks. That makes them far more secure to outside intruders than the Internet. The tag switches have determinate paths that don’t change unless there is an equipment failure that needs to be worked around. Bandwidth, jitter, latency and packet loss are carefully controlled for each customer of the network.

High Quality Business Connectivity
What this all means is that MPLS networks work well for business users that set high standards for the quality, reliability and security of their telephone conversations and data transfers between locations. What MPLS providers can do is offer you a substantial cost savings over building your own private network to link multiple business locations. This is especially true if you have many locations scattered across a wide geographical area, including international offices.

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