Multi protocol label switching (MPLS) is a scalable WAN that can be used for both voice calls and data. It is a system that will ensure packets of data get to their recipient destination, using a sensible route and that data packets are prioritised in an appropriate fashion. All data packets are labelled with at least one label and, as they pass through an MPLS network, labels can be added, replaced or deleted. Information is distributed via the network to provide each data switch with information on handling specific labels.
Benefits of MPLS networks
There are a variety of benefits to MPLS networks, these include:
Improved uptime – MPLS can send data over an alternative path in less than 50 milliseconds and it also cuts out the amount of manual intervention work required by network providers to create a WAN, which reduces risks of human errors bringing down the network.
Improved user experience – time-sensitive traffic, like VoIP, can be prioritised for a quicker level of service.
Improved utilisation of bandwidth – allowing multiple types of traffic to use the same link allows high priority traffic to borrow capacity from streams of lower priority traffic. Additionally, when low priority traffic reaches peak levels it can use the capacity usually required for higher priority traffic.
Can be used to create a virtual private LAN service (VPLS) – using an MPLS network between two sites can act in similar ways to a long ethernet cable, with all hops hidden from view.
Reduces network congestion – MPLS provides sophisticated traffic engineering abilities to enable traffic to be sent via non-standard pathways. It’s not always the case that the shortest path between locations is the quickest, as congestion can cause delays. MPLS cuts latency and reduces further congestion on busy paths.
When to use MPLS
MPLS networks are particularly valuable for situations in which multiple forms of traffic share a data connection and some traffic types need prioritizing. It’s also a critical service when up-time is important as it ensures multiple pathways and alternative routes. Users experiencing frequent network congestion will also benefit from MPLS, any business moving off ISDN onto SIP needs to consider a MPLS network, call us today on 01624 466600 to discuss your requirement