Setting Up New MPLS Between Two Offices

Posted on 2013-11-14
Last Modified: 2014-03-24
I currently have to offices and we recently signed up for new hosted phones as well as MPLS to connect the two offices.  I dont have any experience with networking multiple locations together or with MPLS and am looking for some guidance / best practices.

Our main office is using a network with multiple vlans.  This office has a 3750 performing the routing between vlans and an asa 5510 as a firewall.

Our remote office is using a flat network with no vlans and no managed switches.  I plan on putting a managed 2960 layer 2 switch in place there as well as a new firewall.

The idea is that our main office will get new bonded T1's for phone and MPLS since we already have another internet line.  The remote office will get new bonded T1's for phones, internet, and MPLS.  The carrier is going to be putting their own managed switches at each location.

Some questions:

I want to get rid of the at the remote office.  Would I use something like a network so it will be at the main office and at the remote office?  And if we add another office at some point, it just go up from there?

Since I want to purchase a layer 2 switch at the remote office, do you think the carrier would use their switch to do layer 3 routing?  I would like to have a couple of VLAN's at that office but I cant afford a layer 3 switch or router right now.  At a minimum,  I would like the phones and general network to be on a separate vlan at the remote office.

Is it possible to route the same subnet or vlan across a MPLS to both offices or is that not recommended?

Do you have any information on what kind of things I would need to set up on my network / firewall to make this stuff happen?

Anything else you can think of that I should be aware of?

In addition, I was thinking of putting a read only domain controller with DHCP and DNS at the remote office.  Our ERP system is hosted at our main office.  When people are in the remote office, I would like the ERP to resolve through the MPLS rather than the general internet in hopes it will be faster for them.  When outside the office, the name can resolve over the internet.
Question by:AllDaySentry
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 39651441
MPLS is a tools/platform use to deliver a service.
You have bought the service; not the tool.

So this leads to; what service have you bought?
It is probably one of L3VPN, VPLS, or an E-Line (may be called L2VPN, pseudowire, etc).

Still, I suggest you get a routing device at the branch - probably a L3 switch.
Look at a Juniper EX2200 (or even EX2200-C to save money), so that you can use the service properly.
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

Fred Marshall earned 500 total points
ID: 39651848
You didn't say what bandwidth you expect on the MPLS.  This is critical.
In a way, it's simpler if each site has their own internet connection, which it appears you do.

Here is one way to do it directly and simply with inexpensive devices:

Remote LAN <> Remote RV042 LAN port <> Remote RV042 WAN1 port <> MPLS<>
Local RV042 WAN port <> Remote RV042 LAN port <> Main LAN.
(these two ports would be switched one to the other IF the main site were also the internet gateway for the remote site).

In doing this, you can set up the RV042's interconnect on an "interim LAN subnet" of any suitable private subnet.  You can set up as many sites as you like with one device each (and MPLS links of course).  Inside these interfacing devices you need a route:
Destination Site 1 LAN IPs route to "interim LAN" / WAN address of device at Site 1.
Destination Site 2 LAN IPs route to "interim LAN" / WAN address of device at Site 2.

Main gateway routes packets destined for remote LAN subnet to the interface device (i.e. here the main site RV042).
Remote gateway routes packets destined for main LAN subnet to the interface device (i.e. here the remote site RV042).

This arrangement is simple to set up and maintain and is inexpensive.  It doesn't provide for fancier arrangements like reaching from the remote site to the main site and then on to a VPN going to a 3rd site.

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