Large organisations with multiple sites are no longer relying on traditional, fixed networks but instead using solutions such as Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) which provide better performance, lower cost of ownership and a platform for next generation services such as VoIP and unified communications. MPLS mirrors properties of a circuit-switched network over a packet-switched or IP infrastructure. It is a high-speed, private network used to connect multiple sites to an MPLS provider’s data centre using the Cloud.

MPLS allows different types of data to be transmitted via a ‘routing protocol,’ prioritising them according to the importance of speed of delivery. This allows the router to quickly distinguish what a data packet is and where it needs to go, sending it there directly. This is a much more efficient method and eliminates the need for a router to read the entire packet before it can be forwarded on to the relevant next stop. As it doesn’t use the public internet, businesses have complete control of their own traffic, ensuring a completely uncongested network.

There are, in fact, many benefits of MPLS that cannot be achieved with traditional point to point leased line or with basic broadband internet packages, these include:

1. Substantial Cost Savings

MPLS for business can reduce costs for multi-site enterprises by 10 to 25 per cent compared to other connectivity services. These savings are made as the amount of onsite equipment required is reduced as the MPLS network connects to the Cloud. By using VoIP over MPLS, telephony costs can be decreased by 20 to 30 per cent.

2. Guaranteed Quality Of Service

There is no Quality of Service (QoS) guarantee on traditional broadband networks or public access networks but MPLS offers guaranteed QoS over the network which is key for video and voice services. It is designed to provide rapid delivery of data and a higher standard of service with guaranteed reliability, speed, and voice quality.

3. Enhanced Performance

Using MPLS, response time and application performance are improved. Due to its intelligent tagging and label reading system, users not only enjoy faster connections but have the ability to manage and prioritise network traffic. Businesses are able to take advantage of all the latest telecoms advancements, without suffering from latency and slow connections often found with traditional networks – speeding up performance across the board. It is also the perfect step to consolidating all telecoms tools, with a unified communications solution.

4. Built-In Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is improved through better system access and MPLS offers data back up by linking data centres and other sites in numerous ways to the Cloud. Unlike other networks, MPLS allows remote sites to easily and virtually reconnect to back up locations should disaster ever strike. MPLS also comes with virtually no downtime, a serious problem that 52 per cent of businesses deal with every year.

5. Future-Proofed

Investments into fixed legacy WAN services have come to a standstill. Companies are more willing to spend money on scalable and flexible solutions that are easily grown with their business. Many businesses are planning to migrate to MPLS to avoid being left suffering from poor networks while competitors advance with virtual private connectivity.

6. One, Unified Network

With MPLS the network is consolidated into a single enterprise infrastructure and this significantly reduces network complexity and cost through centralised control. As more organisations look to unify their communications, this solution already has built in integration abilities that are completely flexible.

7. Easy Management

With MPLS one network is managed between various locations so the user is able to gain better control for simple monitoring. Online reporting allows businesses to see what’s happening across the network and reassign priorities if need be.

8. Simpler Administration

MPLS simplifies the on-going management of a network. “Perceived as complex, MPLS actually serves to simplify the network, reduce cost, and enables network convergence with greater control and resiliency for the enterprise,” said a recent Jupiter report.

9. Better Security

MPLS offers greater security than traditional networks, a need for those companies in sectors like banking and finance that require enhanced privacy and security. Multiple offices connect to an MPLS network through a private network with no internet facing gateways which means that shared data and applications accessed from site to site never leave the business domain. MPLS solutions are considered to be one of the most secure network connectivity solutions available, providing security, robustness against attacks, core hiding and spoofing protection.

10. Immediate Scalability & Flexibility

MPLS technology supports business needs to explore other possibilities in growth and expansion. Using an MPLS network connection enables businesses to easily add, remove and connect new sites and remote workers.

MPLS provides businesses with benefits not available through legacy networks or basic broadband packages. With so many organisations looking to grow and expand, running data hungry, demanding applications, MPLS is the next step.