MPLS vs VPN

Management has a fear that switching from AT&T MPLS to a AT&T Wired VPN soltuion will cause some speed/etc issues between our four locations which have a total of 300 users.

At a previous employer we we did not have MPLS and used VPN to get to our remote ERP system.

1. Do you know of anyone using VPN between locations ?
2. If so, do they do VOIP between locations ?
3. Do they use SoniceWall VPN hardware ?

There is an old http://www.networkworld.com/reviews/2006/022006-ssl-voip-test.html article, but I would like more up-to-date articles.
finance_teacherAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
MPLS is a networking framework and VPN would run on top of MPLS (at least I think that is the way for MPLS). VPN provides encrypted security between locations and can keep locations behind firewall/VPN appliances to keep unauthorized people out. Without VPN, you are open to attack.

1. All kinds of businesses use VPN to interconnect.
2. I don't think you need to run VOIP through VPN, but you probably could.
3. SonicWall works. Juniper Netscreen is an excellent commercial standard for VPN.

Yes, VPN slows things down.

.... Thinkpads_User
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
AT&T MPLS would not require you to use VPN.
You become part of a PNT which creates a neighborhood that only your circuits and equipment can access.

1. Site to Site VPN is common but not generally used in a MPLS.
2. VOIP over MPLS - YES .... VOIP over VPN can be used but the QOS (Quality of Service) is degraded and will cause intermittent problems for multiple users.
3. You can use and mix multiple vendors as long as they support the same VPN protocols but it makes sense to stick to one product for ease of use and administration.
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ryan80Commented:
We use L2L VPNs to our remote sites. one in Europe and one in Asia. We also use VOIP over the VPN and get a decent quality, but sometimes there are minor issues to Asia.

A VPN will reduce performance just because there is packet overhead with a VPN. There will also be some element of latency and the information is encrypted and packaged into the VPN, however this will probably vary depending on how strong the hardware is.

The best thing to do is to test it, as results will very depending on the internet connection that each site has. Since there is not going to be any QOS for the internet connection, your results could be very different from site to site.
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