Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Next Generation WAN FAQs


What is MPLS?
MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a packet-forwarding technology which uses labels to make data forwarding decisions. With MPLS, the Layer 3 header analysis is done just once (when the packet enters the MPLS domain). Label inspection drives subsequent packet forwarding. MPLS provides the following beneficial applications: Virtual Private Networking (VPN), Traffic Engineering (TE), Quality of Service (QoS) and ATM over MPLS (AToM). Additionally, it decreases the forwarding overhead on the core routers. MPLS technologies are applicable to
any network layer protocol.
--> How is the company benefiting from the MPLS project?
With MPLS we have the opportunity to enable:
· Develop a global quality of service (QoS) standard for the network environment.
·  Simplify backbone routing processes and support.
·  Use Industry standard technologies that are widely supported and scalable to future growth.
·   “Future proof” the network by enabling converged voice, data & video services

2-Better response to customer requirements:
·   After reviewing our existing contracts and new MPLS enabled Carrier service offerings we have the opportunity to get 482% more Bandwidth on our core network for less money we pay today.
·   ERP Centralization, IPT, First Mile, OS, Center Apps.
·   Support for Digital Field Operations and Field network design.
·   Transparent redeployment of GID services with reduced network dependencies.
·   Alternative connectivity options for offices requiring service from non-Centralized hubs.
·   Enable growth in traffic.
·   Fulfill increasing demand for special purpose networks.
·   Alternative connectivity options for offices where low infrastructure cost must be emphasized over availability, functionality and performance.
·   Provide higher speed connectivity with improved direct paths to minimize latency.
·   A network that accommodates and integrates acceleration technology to maximize network performance.

What problems does MPLS solve?

The initial goal of label based switching was to bring the speed of Layer 2 switching to Layer 3. Label based switching methods allow routers to make forwarding decisions based on the contents of a simple label, rather than by performing a complex route lookup based on destination IP address. This initial justification for technologies such as MPLS is no longer perceived as the main benefit, since Layer 3 switches (ASIC-based routers) are able to perform route lookups at sufficient speeds to support most interface types.

However, MPLS brings many other benefits to IP-based networks, they include:
·    Traffic Engineering - the ability to set the path traffic will take through the network, and the ability to set performance characteristics for a class of traffic.
·    VPNs - using MPLS, service providers can create IP tunnels throughout their network, without the need for encryption or end-user applications.
·    Layer 2 Transport - New standards being defined by the IETF's PWE3 and PPVPN working groups allow service providers to carry Layer 2 services including Ethernet, Frame Relay and ATM over an IP/MPLS core.
·   Elimination of Multiple Layers - Typically most carrier networks employ an overlay model where SONET/SDH is deployed at Layer 1, ATM is used at Layer 2 and IP is used at Layer 3. Using MPLS, carriers can migrate many of the functions of the SONET/SDH and ATM control plane to Layer 3, thereby simplifying network management and network complexity.
 What about latency, does MPLS improve latency?

MPLS though reducing routing overhead will reduce latency, however true latency improvements will be addressed though a separate “Acceleration Technologies Project” which will incorporate cashing and bursting technologies. Next Generation WAN will accommodate and integrate selected acceleration technology to maximize network performance.


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