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.
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.