What is an MPLS Network?
MPLS (otherwise known as Multiprotocol Label Switching) service offers businesses around the world with a centralized wide are network that can be controlled from the carrier core for enhanced security and performance. Using MPLS technology, businesses can communicate with all locations in a fully meshed network, instead of having different parts of the network communicate separately. This centralized infrastructure allows for better latency, jitter, and packet prioritization that allows video, voice, and data to travel over the network so that each application will perform at its optimum level. QOS (quality of service) is a core advantage to having an MPLS network protecting the most important information over the non essential traffic as well as making real time applications like voice and video perform at a high level.
- “Smart” Packet Routing: Since the router doesn’t have to determine where the packets are going, the router can more quickly send the packets to their end destinations.
- QoS (Quality of Service): QoS is a method for monitoring and controlling the traffic running over your network, and ensuring that packets are prioritized in the event that congestion occurs. QoS acts like a traffic cop, determining which traffic is more important.
- Supplier Management: The supplier providing the MPLS network is responsible for ensuring that it works properly, which can cut down on your in-house IT costs. It will also free up time for your IT staff to work on other projects.
- Security: MPLS networks offer high levels of security, which is especially beneficial for companies with compliancy requirements.
- Scalability: MPLS networks allow an unlimited amount of sites to be added and supported. It can also be used over any medium, which means companies are not limited to specific products sets.
MPLS networks are becoming a standard for companies looking for managed private networking and packet prioritization. Companies that are running real-time applications, such as Voice (SIP Trunking, Hosted PBX) or Video, may choose to have that traffic run over an MPLS network to guarantee that it operates smoothly. Choosing the right MPLS provider is an important decision. If you have an opportunity that requires MPLS, please consult your Telarus Support Manager or Telarus Sales Engineer to determine a potential fit.
HOW DOES AN MPLS NETWORK WORK?
An MPLS network ties all of the nodes of the network back to a common host by way of private carrier connections, or private lines. Carriers have multiple access types available to them, including: DSL, T1, Ethernet over Copper, Metro Ethernet, and Microwave. Once all of the nodes connect to the host via private lines, the host can be programmed to handle and route traffic as dictated. Internet ports can be opened up and managed at the host, to control the flow of external traffic to and from the network. The host can also be secured with a carrier-grade firewall to make it virtually impossible for a hacker to penetrate the network.
MPLS VERSUS VPN
The primary difference between VPN and MPLS is that VPN encrypts data before transmitting it over the public internet, making it subject to routing delays, jitter, or packet loss. MPLS consists of private line connections to one single host, who can communicate back and forth over one single private carrier backbone network, without ever touching the internet. From the host, and MPLS network administrator can open up ports to the public internet for users who need outside access.
Another main differentiator between MPLS and virtual private networks is security. In a VPN scenario, all an intruder needs to do to access the entire network is to compromise one single VPN server at any node on the network. VPN is, quite literally, only as strong as its weakest link. Once a hacker has penetrated once branch office, they have access to the entire network. In an MPLS scenario, every office connects to one centralized host, housed within the carrier’s core network, and is protected by very sophisticated (and expensive) firewall hardware and software.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOU SOURCE AN MPLS NETWORK
- Professional Management
- Term Commitments
- Future Upgrades
VOICE OVER MPLS (VOMPLS)
Voice over MPLS (VoMPLS) is the convergence of two separate, yet very complimentary services: Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Voice over IP (VoIP). Businesses looking to harness the benefits of both MPLS and VoIP are seeing the value of migrating their VoIP traffic from an internet-driven solution to a supplier managed MPLS network.
MPLS has emerged as the managed network of choice for suppliers. With the benefits and capabilities of MPLS networks, many businesses have seen the value of migrating their aging WAN to MPLS. Additionally, VoIP is growing in popularity. It is projected to overtake and become the #1 used voice technology in the next several years. Companies are choosing to migrate from their older, traditional voice systems to VoIP-based systems in order to stay current with the latest technology.
HOW CAN A VOMPLS SOLUTION BENEFIT YOUR CUSTOMERS?
- Voice calls will have guaranteed performance, due to the inherent QoS and “Smart” packet routing offered by MPLS.
- Voice calls will be kept secure and private, as voice calls can be configured to run via a private network, not over the public internet.
- Companies can capitalize on reduced-usage costs by harnessing the cheaper and more advanced features of VoIP.
- Companies can cut down on their IT spending, as the supplier handles the maintenance on MPLS networks.
- Adding locations to the MPLS network is simple, and it can scale quickly on an “As-Needs” basis.
- Call routing/failover can be implemented in the event of an outage or natural disaster.
When it comes to large VoMPLS opportunities, you want qualified professionals to help you along the away. Telarus offers a unique position over other Master Distributors, as Telarus employs a full-time Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), who can offer unbiased, carrier-neutral engineering. For any complex VoMPLS opportunity, Tyler Smith can help architect and design a customer solution for your customer.