Friday, July 18, 2008

MPLS Just Got Easier

MPLS or Multi-Protocol Label Switching is fast becoming the core transport technology of choice for point to point and point to multipoint networks. If MPLS is gaining acceptance, what is on the wane? It's Frame Relay networks for sure, and perhaps legacy TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) networking in general. If you're still on one of those legacy networking technologies but wondering if a move to MPLS would be advantageous, you're in luck. A new service is here to make your life easy.

The newest service of Telarus, Inc., the creator of the GeoQuote (tm) instant online pricing service for T1 and DS3 line services, is called Shop For MPLS. It's exactly what it sounds like and then some. This is an online tool that lets you enter information about your business locations and how you are going to use the network. That gives the automated search system and the Telarus consultants the data needed to calculate the best options for your situation.

You'll notice that the Shop For MPLS query form is more detailed than the simple GeoQuote quote request form found on Shop For T1. The reason for this lies in the inherent nature of MPLS networking.

If MPLS were a wireless technology, it might be called 4G. The impetus for a new core network technology comes from the need to transport a variety of protocols from point to point or as a mesh network. Plus today's need to provide a QoS or quality of service control to ensure that real time services, such as VoIP or live video, are protected from degradation by network congestion.

Without MPLS, you have a potpourri of network technologies and pick the one that most closely matches your application requirements. Frame Relay has been a popular service for connecting multiple locations. It uses a private network with virtual circuits that are set-up between locations. Multiple users share the network and the cost, but your data has a committed information rate that is protected.

MPLS does something similar by employing an extensive private network to connect among multiple locations. Instead of virtual circuits, MPLS routers employ labels or tags that define source, destination, and quality of service. The quality of service part of the tag is what makes MPLS able to reliably transport voice and video and well as data.

MPLS networks are based on IP rather than legacy TDM protocol, although they can transport TDM services such as T-carrier or SONET. Many large scale carriers are building new MPLS networks or converting their TDM networks to MPLS. This make the MPLS marketplace very competitive and offers considerable cost savings for network service users.

The new Shop For MPLS online service recognizes that many ideal candidates for MPLS networking are companies with many locations. These can be branch offices, retail outlets, franchises, warehouses and factories. You have the ability to upload a site list rather than having to individually enter a dozen, a hundred or a thousand locations, or mail-in a list or electronic file. That alone can shave days off the quote process and improve accuracy.

The automated analytical tools available to Telarus consultants further improves the opportunity to find the lowest cost solutions from among a large suite of competitive carriers, making it easy to get a good deal on MPLS services.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.