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Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Explained: Cost and Benefits
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What is MPLS?
MPLS is an acronym for Multi-protocol label switching and it’s a way of connecting your sites together. It’s a technique used to carry data for high performing telecoms networks. Traditional techniques used long network addresses to direct data, whereas MPLS uses short path labels, making it quicker.
There are a few benefits to having an MPLS network:
- Better Control – With MPLS you can control where & how traffic is routed on your network. This means you can manage the capacity, prioritise different services like a phone system for example and maybe most importantly prevent congestion of the network.
- The Ability to have multi-service networks – MPLS can deliver data transport services, as well as IP routing services, across the same packet switched network.
- Resiliency – Because MPLS uses faster re-routes the resiliency of your network can be drastically improved.
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How does MPLS work?
MPLS is just a technique used to speed up and organise traffic flow on your internet connection. But how does it do that? To put it as simply as possible it basically sorts & prioritises your data based on what class of service they fall into. So, if an application is business critical it will make sure it gets the bandwidth needed & routes it quicker.
All data travels across networks via “packets” so think of these like an envelope. Traditional networks would essentially need to investigate each packet at each router it passes to see what it was and where it was going. MPLS technology uses labels on the packets so it can just read that –like an address on an envelope.
So, when a packet enters an MPLS network is given a label that tells the routers where to send it without having to dissect its entire header. Naturally, this makes the process faster & enables the traffic to be prioritised according to its importance to your business.
How secure is an MPLS network?
Security is a huge issue for any business & network security is an especially hot topic in recent years. Hackers are always on the lookout for networks with weak security processes. There are numerous ways you can protect your network, using MPLS is one technique that can help make your network more secure.
One of the most common types of cyber-attacks is known as a denial of service (aka DDoS). A DDoS attack will stop authorised users accessing the network, allowing non-authorised users to gain access & control. It then makes an online service unavailable by stopping the hosting server being able to implement any changes or fix it.
MPLS networks can prevent this type of attack by adding an additional layer of security, similar to a layer 2 network. MPLS can protect your companies IP address, firewalls, packet filters & other sensitive data from hackers with ill intentions.
MPLS networks are also secure because they can hide your core infrastructure which is one of the most important parts of an MPLS protocol.
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The cost of a network has so many factors that impact MPLS pricing you get. It depends on:
- The number of sites – The more sites you have the more the MPLS will cost.
- Location of sites – You can get local, national and international MPLS networks. However, if you have a site in London and one in South Africa chances are it will cost more than having a few in the UK
- The bandwidth needed – The higher speeds you need at each site the higher the MPLS pricing will be so it’s important to make sure you know what you need at each site.
The only way to get a true idea of costs is to get some MPLS quotes, which is where we can help. We simply take your details and then do all the legwork to get you the most competitive price on the market. All we need to do is understand your requirements and then you will get the best providers contacting you directly with the quotes. Get your free quote today!