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.
When Should You Use VPLS?
VPLS might be the right service for your company or organization if you need to connect anywhere from a few to a few dozen locations as if they were on a single Local Area Network. Advantages of this approach, compared to a private network arrangement with individual point to point connections back to headquarters, include lower latency, higher efficiency, and lower cost... perhaps much lower cost.
What is Latency?
It is the time delay in the network. In other words, how long it takes to get a packet from node to node. The lower limit is set by the speed of light, which equates to 1 msec per 186 miles in a vacuum.
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.