MPLS is a technology which could be very advantageous for your business to implement – but if you’re not an IT whizz, it might just sound like all the other incomprehensible tech jargon out there. In order to help you out, we’ve put together this article to give you a straightforward introduction to MPLS, as well as a look at what benefits it can have for your business!
That acronym certainly isn’t helping anyone’s understanding – MPLS is short for ‘Multi-Protocol Label Switching’. It’s generally brought up in conversations about ‘connections’ but don’t fret if you’ve never heard of it. In truth, MPLS doesn’t involve connecting your network out to the internet – it’s actually a management technique for all the data that currently travels through your network’s connections.
Let’s properly break down the acronym. Devices on a network communicate using ‘protocols’ – these are like languages. ‘Multi-Protocol’ means MPLS can work no matter what language you devices are using. As data travels your network, it is given a very small piece of extra data called a ‘Label’. This label is then seen by a ‘Label Switch Router’, which handles the data according to what is on the label. That’s the ‘Switching’ part.
If you will, picture your data as being a huge number of packages that need to be delivered over a large area. You wouldn’t want your delivery driver shooting off for their first delivery location, when their second location was just across the street from their origin, would you?
MPLS’s means this doesn’t end up happening. Regardless of the language of the data, it can be handled and routed according to its priority, based on what it says on its label. This priority and route can be changed on the fly if it would benefit the wider network.
Hopefully now you’ve got a bit better of an understanding of what MPLS actually is, as well as how it does what it does. Now what you need is a look at some of the advantages implementing the system can have for your business, in order to work out whether or not you should consider implementing it.
We’ve got you covered – read on for a look at some of the things MPLS can bring to a business:
When two locations are linked together using MPLS, it’s almost as if there is an extremely long cable between the two areas, connecting them together. In actuality it’s not quite as simple as that, but the end result is basically the same. Once a piece of data’s priority has been identified, it can be sent to its location at great speed, which can really tidy up your network.
This has numerous benefits for a business, one being that whenever there are issues that need to be fixed and addressed on the network, the more simple a network is, the less variables need to be considered when fixing problems.
It’s very common for congestion to get into the way of how a busy business network runs. This risk is even greater in a network handling numerous different types of data traffic. If necessary, MPLS can send your data down unconventional routes if it’ll speed up the delivery process – this can reduce congestion, preventing too much traffic from being held up in the network.
If your customers and end-users experience relies on your use of applications based in the cloud and stored centrally, a poorly performing network can really have a negative impact. MPLS makes it possible to keep the programs you need online. This not only helps deliver a much better experience, but also can prevent data from being lost, which can happen when the network must drop data in order to stop the connection from going under.
In the past, you’d need to set up multiple ‘tunnels’ to protect your data to help it quickly traverse the network, in order toexpand your network. This isn’t the case with MPLS, as once it is implemented, you’ll have a speedy and reliable system which makes sure your data gets where it needs to be efficiently.
The more people you have working on your network, the greater risk you have of human error causing an issue. If you reduce the number of people working on it, and your network has a much better chance of staying online, meaning your business and customers can get the experience they expect. This is where MPLS comes in – a simple and efficient network requires much less management, meaning there is less chance of human error getting in the way.
Working with the right MPLS system and provider can streamline your network, making it far more efficient, thanks to how it lets you change the priority and route of network traffic on the fly. With a quick change of your system’s settings, you can borrow a little bandwidth from lower priority traffic, in order to ensure that your crucial, high priority systems stay online, even if your network is under stress.
Now you know some of the strengths of MPLS, you may be considering implementing it in your business. If you’re unsure, it can be worth asking yourself a few questions about your business. Do you use multiple kinds of data in your network, or experience strain and congestion? Do you want to avoid downtime, and keep your network applications online? Do you want to be able to expand quickly, across multiple locations?
If you happened to answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions, MPLS may be the right choice for you. MPLS isn’t cheap, but by ensuring whatever provider you choose is giving you exactly what you need, you can get the most for your money. Before settling on a provider, talk to them, as well as your IT team or MSP – comparing what they say is the best way to tell if you’re getting what you need.