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 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.
Transparent LAN Service
VPLS is sometimes called Transparent LAN service. That’s because WAN communications moves from level 3 to level 2. Your connection to the network is via a managed edge switch that is provided by the network operator. The inherent broadcast nature of Ethernet is preserved, creating a “plug and play” environment as new services are added to the network and discovered by other members connected to the VPLS.
Can MPLS Offer VPN Services?
MPLS networks are inherently virtually private because they are a privately operated network that can only be accessed by network customers. Security is enhanced by proprietary tag switching routers that don't use standard IP routing. Encryption can be added to further improve data security.
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.