What Is VPLS?
VPLS is a class of VPN or Virtual Private Network that connects multiple sites to form a single bridged domain. It is implemented using a MPLS or Multi-Protocol Label Switching Network. That makes it protocol-transparent so that all services, regardless of which location the are physically located at, appear to be on the larger LAN that serves all locations.
How MPLS Replaces Frame Relay Networks
Frame relay has been a popular private WAN networking service to link multiple locations. MPLS is the replacement service that offers more flexibility, higher bandwidth and lower costs.
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.
How Does Label Switching Work?
Label switching technology tags the input packets with their source, destination and quality of service requirements. Tag switches or label routers then efficiently get that packet to its destination intact.
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.