Monday, October 24, 2011

IP WAN over MPLS Advantages

When we think of IP wide area networks, the first thing that comes to mind is the Internet. While the Internet does have almost universal connectivity and modest cost to access, there are some serious issues when it comes to business applications. Bandwidth, latency, jitter and packet loss have no guarantees and few expectations. Security is a joke. But aren’t other methods to interconnect business locations costly and hard to manage?

It is possible to set up a private IP network that lets you use your familiar IP addressing schemes and avoid encryption, firewalls, tunnels, and additional hardware. You’ll gain a performance advantage compared to using VPN techniques over the Internet and save yourself the administrative headaches of trying to manage a WAN with inherently indeterminate characteristics. Who offers something like this? It’s TelePacific, one of the nation’s largest competitive carriers.

TelePacific’s 1Net is an IP VPN running on a private MPLS network, not the Internet. Since MPLS or Multi-Protocol Label Switching can transport almost any protocol, it can be set up to mimic the Internet while keeping your data private. Only the locations that you set up can exchange traffic. No one outside of your user group can capture or view your data. You’ll have any to any connectivity within the group with security sufficient to address HIPPA or similar government regulations.

In fact, TelePacific set up just such a private IP Network for a medical imaging organization with 6 locations. They use it to transport patients’ private medical records among their location. Referring physicians can access patient imaging results within hours at their own computers. The system is also used for claims processing, patient scheduling and registration. Interestingly, this system also allows dedicated Internet access through a single firewall at corporate headquarters.

The TelePacific 1Net IP VPN has both cost and performance advantages over other secure networking solutions, including private line, ATM and Frame Relay. You can specify up to six different Classes of Service (CoS) to support sensitive real-time services such as VoIP telephone and teleconferencing. On Net, latency for all CoS is specified at 50 msec. That rises to just 100 msec for extended reach locations off the TelePacific network but still within the US. Network availability is 99.999% (5 nines) both on and off network locations.

The Classes of Service are CoS 1 for VoIP real time traffic, CoS2 for video conferencing and real time data traffic, CoS3 for high priority, delay sensitive business data like Ecommerce and Citrix, CoS4 for medium priority delay-sensisitive business data such as CRM and WebEx, CoS5 for general less delay sensitive business data like ERP, and CoS6 for best effort traffic with no prioritization. That’s typically Email and FTP.

Are you cringing at the cost and effort involved in linking your business locations by private lines or frustrated by the highly variable performance and difficulty in securing the Internet? Perhaps the best solution for your business needs is a private IP VPN based on MPLS networking. Check prices and features to compare with your other choices.

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

Note: MPLS network diagram courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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