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Benefits of MPLS

Posted on 2008-10-27
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Hi Experts,
looking for some broad advice/suggestions for further reading.
We operate a fairly basic 2-site setup.  Main site (approx 100 people) has a leased line, 2nd much smaller site is currently serviced by a standard ADSL connection, with a permanent VPN cx between them.  The cx is fairly reliable but also fairly slow.  We dont use VOIP at the moment, but would like the option to move to it in the medium term.  
Someone has (quite strongly) suggested we look into MPLS, but I'm afraid I know almost nothing about it.  I would be very interested in your thoughts (just broad strokes or bullet points would be great) as to the applicability of MPLS to our network.  I have started to look into it, but my initial feel is that it looks like overkill for what is essentially a fairly basic setup.  Thoughts/other suggestions much appreciated.
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Question by:seashell1
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by:Slawomir Malinowski
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"someone" means your service provider :)

I think that essential information you can find here: http://www.enterpriseitplanet.com/networking/features/article.php/3613066
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rupspan earned 500 total points
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MPLS is great if you don't want the headache of configuring and supporting the routers at each end.  When I purchased MPLS for our company we basically bought a service that connected 2 sites at T1 speeds.  They managed and monitored the Link.  I would get emails when the MPLS was down and ticket would automatically be created and assigned to an engineer.  The only problem is that you have no control over the routers any changes you would want to make for example, change the priority for VOIP traffic you would have to go trough your vendor.  Which isn't bad thing!

I was considering a point-to-point T1 which can get expensive depending on the distance and can be complicated once you start adding multiple sites.  With MPLS if you added another location the cost of adding another link gets cheaper as you already the router and link in place (Head office), the vendor would just add a new route to the new location.  Of course you have to pay for a new service at the new location but now your only adding on piece of equipment, unlike point-to-point t1's.    

When you make you decision you'll need to consider whether or not you have the time to support your own link, especially if your a small company with a small IT team.  The way I see it is if the company is willing to pay for a MPLS link take it!!  I would just negociate the contract hard!!  
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