Advantages of MPLS Networks over Leased Lines

Brett Harney Managed Network Services, Network Performance

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Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a cost-effective solution that enables you to consolidate all of your business applications onto a single private network.  I found a detailed summary on excITingIP.com of the factors that have enabled MPLS VPN Networks to become more favorable for organizations that want to inter-connect their various branches when compared to Point to Point Leased Lines:

Traffic Engineering: Since the MPLS packets are being added at the MPLS Edge routers, it is possible to set the path that the traffic will have to take through the network. More specifically, each class of traffic (like data, voice, video etc) can be set individual performance characteristics.

Quality of Service: Since MPLS network enables traffic engineering, 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. This enables network convergence (The Wide Area Network becomes more suitable for introduction of new services like voice, video, multi-cast traffic, hosting etc).

Network Redundancy: An MPLS core network is generally designed and built to overcome individual hardware (router) faults or line disconnection. In such cases, the data is re-routed through the next optimum path with a fail-over time of 50 ms or lesser.

Easy and Cost effective Expansion: For organizations that have multiple branches or expanding with new branches, MPLS network would be very cost-effective as each branch needs one MPLS link; while each branch would need n-1 links for point to point Leased Lines (n being the total number of branches). MPLS makes it easy for instantaneous addition and deletion of sites.

Protocol Independent forwarding: MPLS networks can carry any type of packets – be it IP, frame relay or ATM using the same infrastructure.

Connection oriented network: MPLS is a connection-oriented network unlike connection less networks like IP. So, it is more reliable.

Service Level Agreement (SLA): Service Providers generally provide an SLA – Service Level Agreement for MPLS networks with a guarantee of very minimum downtime during the contract period. This is possible because an MPLS network can be pro-actively monitored and maintained. It is possible to analyze the circuit performance continuously and provide immediate fault rectification and support.

Bandwidth Allocation: MPLS networks allow for dynamic bandwidth allocation and hence can be used to provide bandwidth on demand to customers. Rate limiting and other bandwidth management parameters allow a certain bandwidth to be dedicated for mission critical applications.

Security: Service providers take full responsibility for the security of information that is sent over an MPLS network. Service providers also create IP tunnels throughout the network without the need for any encryption from user-end.

International MPLS: There are options with service providers to connect individual locations across different countries using MPLS by sharing and inter-connecting their respective MPLS networks.

Lesser Hops: With an MPLS network, there are lesser number of hops between the various network points resulting in improved response times and application performance.

We offer a complete portfolio of products and services that allows you to effectively outsource the management of your organization’s voice and data network services.  When you work with CTG, you can rest assured your network performance, application performance, and connectivity will be operating at peak levels.  Let us work with you to determine the ideal network strategy for your business.