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.
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.