MPLS VPN is a methodology for exploiting the power of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to create Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). MPLS is a highly scalable, protocol agnostic, data-carrying mechanism in high-performance telecommunications networks which directs and carries data from one network node to the next. A virtual private network (VPN) links two or more computers through an underlying local or wide-area network, while encapsulating the data and keeping it private. VPNs that run Internet Protocol (IP) on it are termed as IP VPNs and MPLS IP VPN is a high quality high performance IP VPN.
Effective use of information is now a prerequisite for successful organisations. This need to increase operational efficiencies and also revenue is said to be driving the growth of connectivity solutions that offer multicast-traffic and support voice, video and collaboration-based applications.
In today’s business scenario companies are not just confined to one place but they are geographically dispersed and these company branches have to be interconnected to facilitate data transfer/ access between them in order to accelerate the speed of business transactions. A lot of connectivity options are available for this purpose and they have their own set of characteristics.
Typically, leased lines
are used by businesses to connect geographically distant offices but they are expensive making them unsuitable for smaller businesses.
But by opting to deploy a MPLS network for network convergence it is said that both providers and companies can get to enjoy a wide set of advantages. Service providers can use it to reduce costs, offer a wide range of services and enable a differentiated service. Companies can use MPLS to ensure that their vital business applications run consistently, reliably and promptly.
Businesses managing a large network should also implement stringent security measures so that their important data is not lost while traversing and protect it from malicious access. Data travels as IP packets in MPLS IP VPN networks
and each packet is assigned a unique label and this assignment is done at the incoming port of customer, by physical port identity. This prevents the loss of data and even when trouble occurs at the data travel path, the network is capable of rerouting the travel path. Also the core information of the data packets is never revealed in the network which thwarts any unauthorised access.
The recent economic slowdown is forcing a lot of organisations to minimise their expenditure and managers have to run their businesses without compromising on quality. Since MPLS provides protocol independent forwarding, MPLS VPN’s can be implemented utilising varying customer edge equipment allowing the customers to leverage their existing investments. This greatly reduces company spending on new infrastructure. Also if a company is expanding its network it is very easy for them to add or remove a site from their network with MPLS and the process is very cost-effective too.
Companies that utilise VoIP and video services need to have a network that has higher Quality of Service (QoS). Because it is stated that VoIP uses approximately ten times more packets than data and with video it becomes more complex – with video conferencing
not only the number of packet increases but their size as well. Also video can degrade much quicker than VoIP and both of them suffer due to latency in the network. Unlike typical networks where all is treated equally, the traffic in the MPLS VPN network can be engineered to users’ will. It is possible to send data traffic over a lower priority path and real time delay sensitive voice/ video packets over a high priority/ lesser used/ shorter path. Also each class of data can be set to individual performance characteristics. This reduces network latency and increases QoS enabling companies to offer more advanced video and voice services.
At present it is claimed that MPLS IP VPN service is broadly used by many ventures and organisations. The major reason behind that its flexibility, especially in connecting to different sites and its ability to significantly reduce a lot of workload.