Bandwidth to Support Convergence
Convergence means combining or converging voice, data and video
onto a single network. Enterprises usually need to expand their
LAN bandwidth and set up a QoS or Quality of Service priority
system to give priority to real-time streams such as telephone
calls or video conference feeds, which are more sensitive to network
delays than data transfers. Most often, the common protocol for
convergence is IP.
What are Typical Classes of Service?
Class of Services or CoS is established in MPLS networks to ensure the performance of each packet on the network. CoS classes include real time for voice and video, mission critical for time sensitive applications such as transaction processing, business critical for applications such as database access, and data for lower priority traffic that isn't time sensitive.
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.