We often get asked what an MPLS network is. MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching. So now we know what the acronym stands for but what does it actually mean? That’s exactly what we are going to attempt to explain for you today!
Protocol’s are an important part of sending or receiving any information across the internet and there are loads of different protocols for all the different types of network technologies.
When referring to MPLS multi-protocol simply means its not restricted to any particular type of protocol and can generally use any type that is available.
One of the things that makes an MPLS network unique is its use of labeling compared with other IP connections or networks. Although this is not getting quite complex we will attempt to simplify as best we can for you.
Whenever voice or data get sent over the internet using an MPLS network they are sent in packets effectively and each packet of data is assigned a label, well assigned multiple labels to get it to where it needs to go.
As the packet of data or voice travels around the MPLS network it checks it has its label read and drops off any information needed at that part of the MPLS. Then it gets assigned another label to replace the previous one and moves on to the next station and repeats the process.
Although extremely simplified above, that’s the basic gist. There are benefits to using an MPLS network, but not necessarily everyone needs it.
The main reasons people do take out an MPLS network are:
1. Cost savings. Depending on the specific mix of applications, and network configuration,MPLS services can reduce costs by 10% to 25% over comparable data services.
2. Improved performance. Because of the any-to-any nature of MPLS services, network designers can reduce the number of “hops” between network points, which translates directly to increased response time and improved application performance.
4. Disaster recovery. MPLS networks improve disaster recovery in a variety of ways. First and foremost data centers and other key sites can be connected in multiple ways to the cloud (and thus to other sites on the network). Secondly, remote sites can quickly and easily reconnect to backup locations if needed.
5. Future proofing the network. Most companies have come to the conclusion that MPLS represents “the wave of the future.” Investment in legacy WAN services has pretty much come to a standstill. As a result, companies increasingly say they’re planning to migrate to MPLS primarily to avoid being left behind.
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