Business Advice – What Is MPLS?

Europe is taking a large step towards an IP based communications infrastructure, but what needs to be recognised is that for such data hungry solutions we need high performing networks to run them on. Following the surprising revelation that six out of ten rural organisations struggle with slow broadband speeds in the UK, it’s never been more important to make sure that you aren’t suffering from poor connectivity.In line with the UK’s bid to become the European leader in broadband by 2020, we know that super-fast connectivity is what will drive our economy out of recession. If you’re a big business with a requirement for your own secure, private and speedy network then MPLS solutions are the most obvious choice.Many people dismiss MPLS because it is over complicated, but getting the best out of your business requires the highest performing network infrastructure to better equip you for a data led future. It is understandable also that you will have a fear of moving away from your current provider, but providers can now guarantee a stress free move at minimum disruption to your business.What is Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)?Multi-Protocol Label Switching is a “routing protocol” that works by labelling each packet with a virtual “label” which is then used to move packets from one network node to another. The network links multiple sites directly to a data centre using the MPLS cloud, it can be connected by a range of circuits including; copper, fibre or SDSL.When linked to the Hosted Firewall this provides external access to the Internet – having a single large connection to the Internet through one firewall reduces the cost of Internet bandwidth, while improving reliability, speed and management control – why have one line for internet and one line for calls, when you can use one line for both?MPLS delivers faster speeds and a totally uncongested network and gives you access to hosted apps, hosted VoIP, Microsoft CRM, transaction processing and much more.How does MPLS work?This ‘virtual label’ is assigned to each packet based on its destination, to simplify the explanation we can compare it to a supermarket barcode system; it is a way of tagging your web traffic (packets of information) – just as you tag supermarket items with a barcode. These tags or labels which attach to your packets contain all the relevant data your router or Label Switching Routers in the case of MPLS need.This then allows the router to distinguish where each packet needs to go, sending it quickly and directly. This is a much more efficient method and eliminates the need for a router to read the entire packet before it can be forwarded on to the relevant next stop.MPLS is currently the fastest protocol available, providing very high security while reducing overall cost of ownership – standard circuit routers are used on site, meaning expensive routers and firewalls are not needed.Who can benefit from MPLS?Big business with a requirement for their own secure and private network with multiple sites and a need to run demanding applications. MPLS is perfect for schools, banks, law firms, construction sites and government bodies and many more.
MPLS may not be for you if:• You only have one office, with no back up data connection
• You only use your connections for one type of traffic (e.g. web surfing)
• Your main offices are connected solely via contended ADSLHow can MPLS benefit your business?There are many different advantages per provider, we will use one MPLS provider’s benefits package below (courtesy of Elite Telecom):• Low capex as no need for firewalls and expensive ADSL routers
• Bespoke SLAs per customer (standard SLA Guarantee = 50 milliseconds)
• No management overheads
• More cost effective when compared to traditional solutions
• Disaster Recovery options and multitude of autofailover options
• Easy to migrate
• Virtually no downtime
• Uncongested business-grade network as it is solely built for your traffic and applications
• Easy to add and remove remote workers with no extra installation time
• Ability to add QoS and protect critical applications i.e. VOIP
• Your step to a convergence/unified comms solution, combining voice, data and video
• You can pick and choose multiple carriers, Elite has the best selection of all the UK’s leading providers
• Low latency – fast connection
• High security and high bandwidth capacity – you have the ability to scale up or down dependent upon what you need and useWhat kind of security can you expect with MPLS?With providers like Elite you are guaranteed lower total costs and a secure, resilient and flexible solution. All MPLS networks come with a track record of virtually no downtime, disaster recovery and autofailover. The data shared and applications accessed from site to site will never leave your business domain because it is sent over your own private network.How can you get MPLS for your business?MPLS means you are able to take advantage of all the latest telecoms advancements without suffering from latency and slow connections often found with traditional networks. If you want to enjoy more fluid communication and fast and smooth access to your services it’s time you turned to tagging and switched your network to MPLS. Finding your MPLS provider is the next and critical step.

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