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 Does Fully Meshed Mean?
MPLS networks that are described as fully meshed offer any-to-any connections within the cloud network. You specify the desired connectivity between locations to the network service provider.
Don't Frame Relay Networks Do The Same Thing as MPLS Networks?
They used to in a simpler way. Frame relay networks use small ATM cells rather than the modern IP network cores of MPLS networks, so they tend to be less efficient. Most carriers are shutting down their Frame Relay networks since the rise of MPLS. The newer MPLS networks tend to be designed for higher speeds to match today's business bandwidth needs.
Cost Advantage of Converged Networks
By merging voice, data and video onto a single network, the cost and support levels needed to maintain separate computer data, telephone and video networks is reduced to a single network staff. WAN networks may also be managed by the provider, if desired.
MPLS Network Speeds
MPLS networks can run at any network speed and are being adopted by major carriers as the multipoint to multipoint technology of choice. For this reason, MPLS is fast replacing Frame Relay.