Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a technique to manage different types and amounts of traffic flow across a network (Source: MPLS by Aryaka). What is the purpose of MPLS? When network administrators are faced with a growing enterprise-level network that needs to services users distributed around the globe and they may be using anything from cloud-based services to complex applications, the solution has been to adopt MPLS connections.
Some experts believe the technology will gain even more adherents as more companies find themselves managing distributed networks, but cost is one factor that has kept that from happening. Instead, other companies are adopting a WAN Optimization-as-Service solution that is less expensive and more robust.
Basically, MPLS is a technology-based solution to meet the needs of a growing business that has customers, employees, or partners worldwide. As a business solution, there are a number of advantages that MPLS can offer a company. It can effectively upgrade application performance across longer distances. By creating or buying MPLS connections at locations closer to where services are rendered, the company can create a more distributed approach to a centralized data system.
However, to get that boost in application performance, the company has to make significant capital investments in MPLS connections and WAN optimization appliances. However, the solution is not complete as any use of the Internet, cloud-based packages, or services requested over very long distances can still result in congestion-based packet loss, unlike the WAN Optimization-as-Service solution.
Even after the implementation of MPLS, the costs don’t stop there. Deploying MPLS is complex and the subsequent management of the system is equally intricate. You will need to train your network administrators to install and use the monitoring software and databases that should also be used to manage the system afterwards. This creates the need for an oversight program to make sure the MPLS connections are functioning the way they should on a regular basis. This will help your employees to optimize the system, but also cost further time in network maintenance.
MPLS is still the popular solution for reliable and predictable network performance within North America and Europe. However, MPLS fail to bring the same result for global companies who depend on traffic coming from other parts of the world. MPLS is an in-house technical solution that can address some of a growing company’s business needs, but it’s not perfect and does require knowledge, expertise, time, and money to implement correctly.