Why MPLS Networks Are Still In Demand Security, performance and cost are the winning combination for MPLS Networks today.
By: John Shepler
What’s the hottest telecommunications service that you may be missing out on? It’s MPLS networks. They’ve become highly in-demand and the source of competition among competitive carriers. Here’s what you need to know and how you can check to see if an MPLS network can save your company money.
Why Are MPLS Networks Proliferating?
What’s driving the proliferation of MPLS networks is that enterprise applications are becoming more sophisticated and more dependent on connectivity among multiple locations. There are big cost savings to be hand through network convergence, enterprise VoIP and mission critical processes running on high throughput server farms. But for these benefits to be realized, you need WAN connections that are a solid as your company LAN.
The Internet isn’t up to it. True, the worldwide connectivity of the public Internet is unmatched. But network performance leaves a lot to be desired. Security is certainly an issue. Look at the efforts you need to put up to prevent your systems being infected by malicious bots and viruses. Beyond that, there is no promise of predictable performance. Bandwidth, path congestion, latency, jitter, corrupted and dropped packets are all up for grabs. That’s the reason TCP/IP was chosen as a data transfer protocol in the first place. If a packet doesn’t succeed at traversing the Internet at first, simply try, try again.
Such inconsistency can be tolerated for Web pages, email and many data transfers. Even the security issue can be managed with encryption. But time sensitive applications like real-time voice and video need better treatment. Who wants to get off the public switched telephone network and risk garbled and dropped phone calls? Could any call center survive with those problems?
Frame Relay is Yesterday's News
The need for controlled and predictable network performance is what promoted the growth of private network solutions, such as Frame Relay. But Frame Relay is a technology who’s time has come and gone. It’s too expensive and, for the most part, too low in bandwidth for today’s needs. What’s replacing Frame Relay is MPLS.
MPLS or Multi-Protocol Label Switching networks are privately run networks that only serve their customer’s needs. Those needs typically demand secure point to point and multipoint connections with Class of Service (CoS) to make sure voice, video and data all have the network resources they need. Latency, jitter and packet loss are minimized. Bandwidth is sufficient to support all network requirements. If more customers come onboard, more resources are deployed to ensure quality performance for everyone.
Point to Point or Fully Meshed
MPLS services can be configured as point to point or fully meshed any-to-any connectivity. You specify how you want to connect and your service provider sets it up. New locations are easy to add or change. That makes MPLS networking an excellent option for businesses with many branch offices or retail locations. Two-way VSAT satellite has been the private networking solution for many retail stores, restaurants, gas stations and so on. But satellite bandwidth is limited, sometimes lost during heavy weather, and the cost isn’t necessarily cheap. It’s time to take a look at MPLS to see if this option makes more sense going forward.
How To Decide if MPLS is Right For Your Company
It's easy to get consultation and pricing for your multi-location network needs. With a quick inquiry, you’ll be connected to a team of expert consultants who have access to many MPLS service providers and access networks. Competition among IP network carriers with national and international service footprints has become intense. That means you’ll get highly competitive quotes that may be much lower than what you think this type of service will cost. Even if you aren’t currently in the market to upgrade your existing network, it could be well worth your while to check MPLS network pricing and availability. There’s a good chance you could be saving money with an MPLS solution.
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