What is VPLS and MPLS networks?

MPLS stands for multi-protocol label switching – solid networking technology which has powered enterprise networks for over two decades. In essence, MPLS is data forwarding technology which expedites the speed and controls the flow of traffic – directing data through a path via ‘labels’ to send it along a predetermined path. VPLS stands for virtual private LAN (local area network) service – a protocol for connecting remote networks in a single bridged connection. It can connect geographically dispersed sites over a secure VPN, enabling users to securely connect to data centres. MPLS and VPLS are both effective solutions for creating network connections between remote locations but whilst they are different technologies, they aren’t mutually exclusive any many enterprise-level businesses engage both in order to achieve the best of both worlds.

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What are the benefits of using MPLS and VPLS?

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Why choose MPLS?

MPLS is a well-established and well-respected data routing technique with a multitude of benefits including improved uptime, reduced network congestion and solid performance. It is also the perfect solution for organisations looking for network flexibility and scalability through the use of VPNs to automatically segregate traffic and optimise performance across busy infrastructures.

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Benefits of VPLS

VPLS gives you complete control of your routing with the technology making it possible to connect to local area networks (LANs) over the internet, seamlessly. In other words, VPLS enables multi-site businesses to connect to a LAN over an ethernet VPN which delivers fast connectivity and allows users to change location easily. One of the most fundamental benefits of VPLS is the level of security offered.

Features of MPLS and VPLS

What is MPLS and why it is used?

Ultimately, MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) is an advanced data routing technique, designed to get packets of data to their destinations quickly, efficiently and securely. It ensures data is directly routed through dedicated path labels, across networks – supporting high speed communications between data centres and offering a highly effective way of transmitting data when compared to complex routing tables.

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What is VPLS and how does it work?

VPLS – virtual private LAN service - is a connectivity service which uses MPLS and VPN technology to securely and seamlessly connect multiple LANs (local area networks) over the internet through a single bridged connection.

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Key technical features of an MPLS network

Multi-protocol label switching revolves around FEC (forwarding equivalence class) types. This is, essentially, a label given to every IP packet which enters the network to determine the characteristics of the packet. The routers recognise the FEC label and know immediately what the course of action should be. It is a virtual private network so provides a secure mode of data transport.

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What is the difference between VPLS and MPLS?

VPLS delivers complete control over routing by combining LAN and WAN in a way that allows businesses operating across geographically dispersed sites to securely connect to data centres, whilst MPLS is the perfect solution for scalability and efficiency through the use of VPNs to automatically direct traffic.

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Frequently asked questions

MPLS is a network technology while VPLS is a service on top of an IP network or MPLS. VPLS is a layer two connectivity between sites or LANs, while MPLS is a technology within the service provider and connectivity can be layer 2 or layer 3. VPLS uses ethernet for connectivity between sites, MPLS can use any type of connectivity interface.

MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) enables a service provider to provide a scalable and economical VPN across a shared network infrastructure and multiple sites. It sends data along the most efficient routes using pre-determined ‘labels’.

VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service) is a service that uses MPLS to securely and seamlessly connect multiple LANs (local area networks) over the internet, making them appear as if they were all on the same LAN.

A VPLS service is an ethernet based form of connectivity over IP networks but yes, it can be placed over an MPLS network.

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