VPN Technology: MPLS VPN – Understanding the Use and Benefits
MPLS VPN is considered an ideal choice for businesses that have multiple offices and that too in geographically distant locations. It is helpful in integrating the whole network with an exclusive and private routing protocol. MPLS VPN is a highly recommended network where VoIP apps are concerned and it is also synced with the domain security needs, which is certainly a plus. Any business that’s planning to adopt cloud computing nowadays should definitely consider it as a flexible way of connecting to the platform.
Ordinarily, it may appear that in the case of a corporate WAN, it is possible to use the public internet when it is combined with IPsec encryption. Even though it is possible to use some sites for accessing WAN through a public internet connection, it does not meet the performance, uptime and capacity demands and needs of the converged applications that are in use these days. This is due to the fact that this consumer-grade connection deals with all kinds of traffic in a similar way, regardless of its latency needs and significance.
What Makes MPLS Different?
MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) is a solution that has been developed primarily for enterprises and it sets up highly efficient and prioritized routes for business traffic. When an MPLS-based network is being used by an organization, any packet that enters its zone is assigned to a specific forwarding equivalence class (FEC) and a short bit sequence is tagged onto the packet for specifying it. A table is given to every router that’s part of the network, which is helpful for handling packets with particular FECs.
There is no need for routers to perform a header analysis when a packet enters the network. The label is used by all the successive routers as an index into the table and so a new FEC is granted for that packet. The MPLS-based network uses this process for consistently managing packets with specific characteristics. As compared to traditional routing, an MPLS network makes it possible to map the packets facilitating the flow of real-time traffic, including voice and video, to low latency routes.
The Benefits of MPLS
- Excellent quality of service
When using MPLS VPN, businesses can expect a high quality of service for their internet connectivity. Therefore, the software and apps that are run on the internet or in the cloud are able to perform seamlessly. When subscribing to an MPLS VPN, an organization has the option of signing up for a specific level of quality of service, as per their needs. This means that it can outline the minimum thresholds for packet loss, latency and jitter when taking the connection. It is applicable to different kinds of traffic, ranging from voice, email services and video to transmitting of heavy files and software applications.
- Outsourced routing
Another great benefit of using MPLS VPN is that the service provider will be responsible for managing the WAN and you don’t need an internal team for this purpose. Thus, when it comes to dealing with the day-to-day operations and ensuring that every device is in perfect working condition, MPLS is a better option as opposed to conventionally managed and routed networks.
Opting for MPLS is recommended for every business nowadays, but it is particularly important for businesses in the financial industry or any other domains where it is essential to maintain the security of customer data and accounts. It is a must for these businesses to have encrypted websites and secure servers for their transactions. These extra security layers are added to the network by MPLS.
- Any-to-any connectivity
This is another benefit that businesses can enjoy when they go for an MPLS VPN. This feature can be particularly helpful for the functioning of voice and video applications with any-to-any patterns. It is easier to connect websites with MPLS and this can be quite useful in managing traffic patterns.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)
All MPLS VPN connections come with a quality assurance because they are protected by documented Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These provide guarantees regarding the delivery of services. This kind of network is deployed according to the timeline that’s promised and the SLA also state what kind of uptime you will get, which is fully matched. As compared to a vanilla broadband connection, MPLS VPN comes off as a more practical option for businesses.
Apart from these reasons, MPLS is also preferred because it is able to connect remote offices of a business in a secure manner. It is possible to maintain connections via private networks and different offices of the same organization don’t have to deal with any interruptions in their internet connectivity. As a business continues to open new offices, they can simply choose to add more websites to the existing WAN without any hassle or security issues.
There are some other perks that MPLS VPN can offer to a business. VoIP, web conferencing and other mission-critical apps give a flawless performance when they are used on this network. It is regarded as an optimum way for a business to connect to the cloud. With an MPLS VPN, the connectivity of non-IP based and also IP based physical security systems is made possible on WAN. Businesses are given the freedom to prioritize the important apps on the network, which allows them to use more bandwidth and deliver better performance.
Apart from that, when a business opts to go with an MPLS VPN, they are able to cut down the number of hubs in their network. How is this helpful? It allows a business to save money in terms of costs associated with network maintenance.
Even though this technology is more than a decade old, it can be said that it is not going anywhere in the near future. MPLS VPN can deliver great value to businesses, as outlined above, due to which more and more organizations are choosing to forego vanilla broadband connections in favor of this VPN model of service. You can boost connectivity efficiency and enjoy all the other benefits by using MPLS in a virtual private network.