Not all sites owned by one customer will be located in one geographical site. At one point in time, it becomes necessary to connect all these sites and that’s where MPLS VPN becomes important. MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching while VPN stands for virtual Private Network. The different internet providers are able to provide MLPS VPN services to their clients.
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Routing information are exchanged between autonomous systems which are network of routers controlled by on administrator. A group of such autonomous systems can be referred to as an internet backbone. As the internet has grown, this has meant that the amount of autonomous systems supported by the different backbones has also increased. This increase meant that eventually the speed of routing information on the internet was going to considerably reduce and the need to make things faster led to the creation of MPLS which is based on Cisco’s tag switching protocol. VPN on the other hand is a way for businesses to have secured private connections over the internet allowing for remote access.
Types of MPLS VPN
There are mainly two types of MLPS VPN that customers could use in their network. These are Layer 2, and layer 3.
Layer 2 VPN is provided by internet providers to their customers to enable the distribution of data over a network. They use routers that sit on the internet provider’s network and so are known as Provide Edge routers or PE. Customers interested in layer 2 may choose between ATM, framework and Ethernet connections. This type of service is suitable for those who want to control what happens with their internet service. Internet providers find it easier to use this type of MLPS VPN as they can make changes to easily based on the customers request.
Layer 3 VPN uses Broader Gateway Protocol in the distribution of VPN. This is a cost saving solution for most internet users as they allow routing information to be controlled by the internet provider. Nevertheless, some businesses may feel reluctant sharing any routing information with other people. Through this they can benefit from other added services like quality control that the internet provider will readily provide. In layer 3 VPN, a set of sites share some facilities like routing information.
Point to point or a pseudo wire is another name that is likely to come up when one searches for types of MLPS VPN. It is actually the basis on which layer 2 VPN is built.
Advantages and Disadvantages
When businesses make use of MPLS VPN, they get a cheap way of getting access to wan technology. The fact that they get all their traffic through one internet provider is also an added advantage. The main disadvantage comes with the fact that the internet service provider may have to be in control of your networking. This might limit your routing options given that once you sign up with one internet provider, changing them becomes difficult. Also, how reliable your MPLS VPN is will depend on the experience level of the internet provider.
You can find out more about MPLS here: mplstutorial.com