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.
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.
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 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.