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.
How Do You Connect to an MPLS Network?
Popular access connections are T1 lines, DS3 bandwidth, fixed location wireless, Ethernet over Copper and fiber optic services. In some cases, business grade DSL may also be used to save cost.
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.
How MPLS Connections Are Defined
You specify the types of connections you want and the network provider sets up the label switching routers to provide this specific service. If you need to add locations or change the way you want to connect, there are no wiring changes that need to be made. The network provider will simply reprogram your service to meet your new specifications.