MPLS WAN Explorer: Enterprise Network Management Visibility Through the MPLS VPN "Cloud"

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Executive Summary

Increasing numbers of enterprises are outsourcing their backbone WAN routing to MPLS VPN Service Providers. MPLS VPN WAN services have been gaining in market traction against Frame Relay due to availability of higher bandwidth links, and their price advantage when delivering "Full Mesh" application traffic between many sites in the network, as opposed to simple hub and spoke. However, MPLS VPN WAN services come with some serious network management liabilities that can be quite costly. Once MPLS VPNs are deployed, IT loses end-to-end routing and traffic visibility across the WAN backbone. This loss of visibility makes it more difficult to keep Service Providers accountable for service quality, causing costly finger-pointing when problems occur.

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