National and Global MPLS

September 4, 2013

By CBI Telecommunications, Author:  Kelli Clark

Strengths of MPLS and MPLS Carriers

  • Reduced Cost-MPLS is a cloud based service, which means it is not priced by mileage with the carriers.
  • Class of Service-MPLS allows for the customer to prioritize certain functions, such as voice and video.  Giving this traffic priority over a network allows for data and voice to be used with the same connection.
  • Disaster Recovery-Data centers and other key sites can be connected into the cloud allowing for redundancy in case of an outage.  This allows remote sites to be quickly and easily reconnected to backup locations if the main site is down.
  • Improved performance-Because of the any-to-any nature of MPLS services, network designers can reduce the number of “hops” between network points, which translates directly to increased response time and improved application performance.
  • Support for SLAs—A well-executed MPLS-based VPN implementation supports SLAs and service-level guarantees by providing scalable, robust QoS mechanisms, guaranteed bandwidth, and traffic engineering capabilities.
  • Traffic engineering—Traffic engineering is enabled through MPLS mechanisms that allow traffic to be directed through a specific path. By using traffic engineering in the core, network engineers can implement policies to ensure optimal traffic distribution and improve overall network use.
  • Scalability and Flexibility—Easy to add sites, change bandwidth and budget for network growth
  • Billing; it is important to discuss with your MPLS carrier on how the service will be billed.  Be careful to watch out for multiple bills for each component.  Does the carrier allow for the ability to customize billing to your accounting needs?  For example, can sub accounts be set up for each location?
  • On line portal; will the carrier have an extensive on-line tool for you to manage your MPLS network and routers?
  • Support; will the carrier provide good account management support?  What are the escalation paths?
  • SLA’s; these could vary based on the carrier.  It is important for compare these to make sure that you the customer are protected.
  • Cost—Cost can also vary based on the carrier.  Each carrier has their own relationships built with other carriers to allow for competitive pricing for domestically and international.

Weaknesses of MPLS and MPLS Carriers

  • Billing; it is important to discuss with your MPLS carrier on how the service will be billed.  Be careful to watch out for multiple bills for each component.  Does the carrier allow for the ability to customize billing to your accounting needs?  For example, can sub accounts be set up for each location?
  • On line portal; will the carrier have an extensive on-line tool for you to manage your MPLS network and routers?
  • Support; will the carrier provide good account management support?  What are the escalation paths?
  • SLA’s; these could vary based on the carrier.  It is important for compare these to make sure that you the customer are protected.
  • Cost—Cost can also vary based on the carrier.  Each carrier has their own relationships built with other carriers to allow for competitive pricing for domestically and international.

Threats – Hidden items to watch for with MPLS

  • Peering-It is important to understand how the carrier is peering their network both internationally and domestically.  All carriers do this, but understanding where they are peering and where the POP’s are will help you as the customer understand your network better.
  • Cost—Carrier specific-costs to upgrade and make moves, adds, changes and disconnects
  • Delivery of the last mile—how is the service being delivered?  Ethernet or TDM?
  • Managed service—How does the carrier manage your service?  Are they providing the router and management?  What are the costs associated with that?  Are they part of the service fee or is their leasing of routers involved?  Are these included in the SLA’s?

Conclusion

MPLS Networking provides managed solutions that extend communications across multiple business locations. This product enables users to prioritize voice or data through quality of service (QoS) levels, based on their unique business requirements. MPLS Networking Solution is a private, secure network solution built in a carriers advanced IP network.

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