Speed benifits of MPLS and reasons

1050 pts.
Tags:
ISP
Multiprotocol Label Switching
Packets
VPN
We have just finished migrating over to our parent companies domain. We are now on their exchange and are updating and moving domain data back and forth. We are upgrading to a 50/10mps cable line but are getting some pressure to spend about 12000 dollars per year for a MPLS line. What are the benefits of that type of connection. And how does it differ from a "regular" ISP connection? We dont have VOIP or perform any type of video conference service here.

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Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is really beneficial for ISPs to quickly forward traffic based on 1 to 3 labels inserted in the packet header (between the L2 and L3 info).

It differs from “regular” ISP connections in that it doesnt need to read the L3 (IP) addresses to forward your traffic. PLUS, the MPLS tagging (labeling) is only good for the MPLS-connected devices – once it leaves the “MPLS Area” the labeling is stripped off. (Thus the reason ISPs use it internally to swiftly forward LOADS of traffic).

You CAN use it for a LAN-to-ISP connection, but given the nature of your traffic – which sounds mostly like data/web usage – MPLS would NOT be a cost-effective solution for y’all. A “regular” ethernet or – if you want to get fancy – fiber-optic link to your site would be a better, more cost-effective solution. (a 100Mbps link should be more than adequate…)

Great Link for MPLS:<a href=”http://www.networkworld.com/research/2007/040207-mpls-migration-explained.html”> NetworkWorld</a>

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  • slack400
    MPLS will give you the opportunity to implement QOS (Quality Of Service) on your network traffic. This may not be a big deal today or even necessary but you need to be thinking long-term. Eventually your company will want to go with a VOIP phone system and implement things like extension dialing across multiple sites. MPLS and QOS will ensure your VOIP performs well. Also it might impact your applications. If your Parent company has a data center your local servers may be migrated. With a high speed MPLS network your servers don't need to be onsite. This could dramatically improve your companies DR capabilities. Seeing that I've had this discussion with numerous site IT managers over the years who are usually extremely cost sensitive. I'll warn you that you don't want to be seen as blocking progress. I'd suggest you work with the parent company IT group to road-map your operations and ensure the site's IT goals are inline with what the parent organization is doing. Then you're both working towards a common goal. Finally ensure there's adequate communications between the teams.
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  • Sixball
    You dont HAVE to have MPLS to enact QOS on your network. COS/DSCP tagging is severely seperate from the Layer 3 / Layer 4 protocols. Even if your "parent company" recommends getting an MPLS link, if you're not pushing anything other than data (no VOICE or VIDEO, like you mentioned) then ask them to clarify the justification for investing in something you really dont need...
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