What is MPLS network…the quick definition is a wide area network that employs a protocol agnostic routing technology to speed up and shape traffic flows over a service provider network.
MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching and is a way to connect your branch offices together. If you deploy VoIP across your network you will definitely want to incorporate MPLS.
MPLS makes it much more efficient for organizations to send voice traffic across the network without poor connections or dropped packets. MPLS allows you to set up QOS (quality of service) in the carrier network which means you can prioritize voice and video traffic so that it gets the bandwidth first.
Anytime you use Internet as our connectivity to carry bandwidth sensitive traffic you are relying on the public Internet which is unstable at best. Think about the last time your branch office had the Internet go down or had to reboot the router. MPLS is privately routed traffic with built in QOS guaranteeing that prioritized traffic gets to its destination without jitter, or packet loss.
Often times with MPLS you will hear the term fully meshed network. What that means is you can have fiber at one location, bonded T1’s at another location and Metro Ethernet at yet another location and MPLS allows you engineer the routing so that all locations can talk to each other and be connected. The “mesh” pattern and you can control which sites can talk to each other.
Despite the rise of newer VPN technologies such as SD WAN there is still a place for MPLS in enterprise networks. SD WAN can be a good solution when all your servers such as hosted VoIP, CRM, ERP, Practice management etc are all in the cloud. However any time your have servers in your own data center and especially when you are running your own PBX for VoIP an private network like MPLS is essential for performance and reliability.
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