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Benefits of Multiprotocol Label Switching at a glance
Switching and use of the same paths on the network ensure minimal runtimes and jitter. The performance can be additionally increased by using Class of Service (CoS) and/or Quality of Service (QoS).
High level of security
by fully separating the data using and MPLS instances and introducing the data via exclusive connections/tunnels. Additional protection against attacks from botnets and DDos attacks in MPLS.
Lower operational costs
Operation of the network by the provider, no in-house operation required.
via defined Service Level Agreements (SLA). In the event of faults or failures, you will receive assistance faster.
High availability (globally)
due to the variety of access technologies (ISDN, DSL, LL,WLL, etc.)
Multiprotocol Label Switching for your company
With MPLS networks, you connect your company locations to create a standardized company network – a virtual private network, called VPN for short – and thus ensure fast and efficient communication.
If you have several locations in several cities or countries and require a secure connection for exchanging information, an MPLS network is the right solution for you. VPNs (Private Networks) have been an option for Network Services for a long time. Though such site networks used to be primarily reserved for large companies for cost reasons, today, medium-sized companies also have the option of using low-cost, shared network platforms with technologies such as MPLS. With Multiprotocol Label Switching, resources such as voice, video and data are used via a shared network.
Technically speaking, MPLS can be seen as an intermediate layer between the security or network access layer (Layer 2) and the network layer (Layer 3) of a network. Layer 3 handles the routing. This is where Multiprotocol Label Switching comes in and allows data packets to be transferred along a previously established, clearly defined path with the help of so-called labels. The labels contain the connection information (target, bandwidth, latencies) necessary to correctly forward transmitted data (Label Switching). Routers read the labels and forward the packets based on the specifications. An MPLS VPN is monitored and managed by the provider 24/7. The provider also handles the operation and provision of the routers (CPE) at the respective sites. The MPLS Service Provider provides the customer reporting tools. These tools can be used to read out and evaluate key indicators such as capacity usage, packet runtimes, etc.
When selecting the MPLS Provider several things have to be taken into account. Depending on the location of the sites, desired bandwidths and connection technologies, the right provider has to be carefully considered. Especially for higher bandwidths and foreign sites, the price gap between individual providers is often very high.
In addition to the benfits an MPLS Private Network offers, it also provides the customer a wide range of features. These include, among others,
Class of Service (CoS)
Within a pre-defined prioritization profile, depending on the provider, several service classes, each with defined bandwidths can be specified. The respective service classes are flexible. If a service class is overloaded, it can borrow potentially free capacities from other classes. This achieves end-to-end bandwidth protection across the entire MPLS network which stabilizes important and time-critical data (e.g. VoIP) and limits less important data (e.g. Internet traffic). The benefit of this s that time-critical data can be handled as a priority.
Application Aware Network
An Application Aware Network displays network-internal applications and optimizes and accelerates work processes in MPLS. Company-critical applications are prioritized via a fixed bandwidth assignment which ensures productive operation.
This provides the following benefits:
- WAN investments are optimized in accordance with the company objectives
- The importance and minimum quality criteria of the application classes are defined
- Insight into the application capacity factors is provided
- Guaranteed application performance is a “must”
- Bandwidth increases are set to the background
- Company applications are accelerated, network costs are reduced and productivity is generated
Central Internet access
An MPLS is a closed network. There are several options for granting this network access to the public Internet. For instance, the MPLS provider can provide a so-called central Internet access. The provider provides a central firewall system for shared use at its computing center. Some providers will also operate a dedicated firewall for the respective customer upon request.
This provides the following benefits:
- Low costs at the computing center for high bandwidths
- High availability of the Internet line
- Management of the firewall is outsourced
Mobile User in an MPLS
There are several options for integrating mobile users (field agents or home office users) into the MPLS network in order to establish secure access via the Internet. Since this data is moved via the public Internet, it has to be encrypted.
The most common encryption options are as follows:
IPsec (Internet Protocol Security)
IPsec offers data encryption via the public Internet between the end user’s laptop and the IP VPN router and the hub site. A VPN software client for the end user’s laptop is provided for the set-up, administration and closure of the secured tunnel. The set-up and use of the VPN software is uncomplicated. The customer can configure the client so it can be used by a large number of users. The VPN access guidelines and configurations are downloaded by the central gateway when a connection is established and pushed to the client. This makes the installation and management of the client easier which ensures a high level of scalabilty.
SSL (Secured Socket Layer)
SSL offers data encryption between the end user’s laptop and the Central Network Gateway (CNG) on the MPLS network, which is connected to the customer’s VPN. The customer can create a number of user group roles with different access levels to the network resources. End point tests such as anti-virus programs or a firewall can be configured.
Tips for your MPLS network
- If you run time-critical applications via your network, only MPLS guarantees an end-to-end prioritization of your data.
- Check exactly which locations you want to have in your MPLS network. Exotic locations can become very expensive very quickly. In this case, there is an option of integrating individual sites via IPSec.
- Critical locations should always be equipped with a back-up. Ideally, the back-up line should be laid via a second building supply. If that is not possible, a media redundancy should be implemented (e.g. fiber glass/copper or fiber glass/WLL).
Costs for MPLS
The only argument against MPLS networking in the past has often been the very high costs. Over the course of the last few years, the general price decrease in the TC sector has also impacted MPLS. Today, it is often no more expensive than Internet-based site networking. Especially taking a TCO observation into account.
How high the costs for MPLS actually are, depends on a number of factors.
The bigger the provider’s network is, the more it can utilize its own infrastructure. Thus, the provider can often do without expensive, rented lines.
2. Location of the sites
The geographic location of the sites is very decisive with regard to the costs. In metropolitan areas, the costs for MPLS are significantly lower. Especially when a site with fiber glass is desired.
3. Quality and bandwidth of the MPLS line
Sites with a high priority are usually connected with higher bandwidths and higher quality (higher SLA). In addition, such sites often utilize a back-up.
The aforementioned points, in conjunction with the contract duration and number of sites constitute the price of an MPLS connection.
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