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MPLS ???

By gli ·
Hi guys,
Currently we are running SBS2003, we have two T1's connecting our two retail locations to our corporate office. We have PRI with BCM 400. We have one Internet DSL 1MB connection that is shared by all 3 locations. The VoIP travels on the T1...... ok now, I've have two vendor contact me about switching over to MPLS. I have never heard of MPLS before, Im new in the industry. Anyone have any experience with this technology ?Would you recommend it as a replacement for what we have now??? The main issue is speed and price.


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by dnvrtechgrrl In reply to MPLS ???

It's basically a re-configuration of your network and how many hops it takes to communicate from here to there.

For our exchange servers; we'll be going from about 13 hops to around 2.

This is a good business solution to a slow network with too many hub locations to keep track of. It cuts down on the web you have to untangle.

Unfortunately, the larger you are, the more time consuming the effort. IT's brought a lot of headaches too. (Mostly the re-routing.)

I'll look around here and see what info I can dig up for you.


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by Synthetic In reply to MPLS ???

ort for Multiprotocol Label Switching, an IETF initiative that integrates Layer 2 information about network links (bandwidth, latency, utilization) into Layer 3 (IP) within a particular autonomous system--or ISP--in order to simplify and improve IP-packet exchange.

MPLS gives network operators a great deal of flexibility to divert and route traffic around link failures, congestion, and bottlenecks.

From a QoS standpoint, ISPs will better be able to manage different kinds of data streams based on priority and service plan. For instance, those who subscribe to a premium service plan, or those who receive a lot of streaming media or high-bandwidth content can see minimal latency and packet loss.

When packets enter a MPLS-based network, Label Edge Routers (LERs) give them a label (identifier). These labels not only contain information based on the routing table entry (i.e., destination, bandwidth, delay, and other metrics), but also refer to the IP header field (source IP address), Layer 4 socket number information, and differentiated service. Once this classification is complete and mapped, different packets are assigned to corresponding Labeled Switch Paths (LSPs), where Label Switch Routers (LSRs) place outgoing labels on the packets.

With these LSPs, network operators can divert and route traffic based on data-stream type and Internet-access customer.

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Less info....

by Synthetic In reply to Definition

Sorry about that, I wanted to say that I am providing the Definition only, as others who stumble across mike like it. While I am familiar with the concept, I have not had to put it into practice. How large is your org, and does it seem like it will truly be cost effective and worth the initial headaches? What kind of cost are you looking at?

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Do you REALLY need it?

by jmgarvin In reply to MPLS ???

The problem with MPLS is that short term your life will be ****. It is a lot of work to deal with it. Long term you have probably made your life easier.

Price wise MPLS varies, but depending on your network size it can get quite expensive (although some of the cost will be hidden costs).

As to what MPLS is:
Long story short: it keeps the flow short by adding special lables to your packets. This helps with traffic management. How does it do it?
The packets are assigned a label by a LER. The packets travel along LSP. The LSRs then decide how to move them along depending on the label. What can make this move faster is that at each hop, the LSR strips off the existing label and applies a new label which tells the next LSR or possibly LSP how to forward the packet.

What that means? We label the packets and the routers are able to move them along more efficently depending on the labels. While it does add some overhead this is usually negilegable.

I haven't personally experienced a highly congested MPLS network, but I understand they work pretty well in that environment.

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Speed and price

by Skidoggeruk In reply to MPLS ???

Well, You might notice that you might be able to get larger bandwidth if you move to MPLS. BUT, like so many others have already said, are you prepared for the hassle?

You might want to consider doing a cost analysis, including the costs of getting people in to re-configure. You might discover that there may be little benefit to be had. I think that there will be long term cost benefits, though.

Good Luck

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by mllwyd In reply to MPLS ???

We implemented MPLS through AT&T to support the VoIP network we're building (using Cisco Call Manager). The main reason to label your traffic is to prioritize which packets get onto the network soonest. To keep voice quality high, you want to keep the latency between the packets as low as possible. The whole tagging thing in MPLS is known as Quality of Service (QOS) or Class of Service (COS). By setting our voice traffic to use COS 1 (highest priority), all voice packets take precedence over data packets (which we are doing at COS 3) and thus have latency reduced.

The problem with using MPLS through AT&T at any rate is that you basically need a 768K port (it has ports and CIRs like frame relay) to get decent voice quality. That can get pretty pricey. As for setting it up, we went with AT&T's managed service, so they did all the configuration work.

We have 17 remote sites connected to our Corporate office using MPLS.

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