Finding the perfect data connection to meet the demands of your business


Multi-site - MPLS Technology

MPLS networks and their close cousin VPLS networks are available from two classes of supplier.

The single network provider may have limited presence in any given geography and will only be able to deliver a limited subset of available technologies at your tail locations. However, they may well be part a global network or have extensive international peering arrangements to achieve the same goal. If you need to connect international offices in major cities around the globe then this is right solution.

The network aggregator, by contrast, has interconnects with multiple UK NGN and LLU operators and can meld a solution taking the best from each network operator. Thus a solution might include fibre Ethernet at head office from network (a), EFM at major branches from network (b) and ADSL tails to small branches and possibly home workers using ADSL from networks (a) & (c). What you see is a single homogenous network from a single supplier and this is the preferred approach for national requirements.

By default an MPLS network is a private cloud with no interface to the Internet. However your business still requires managed Internet connectivity for which there are two options.

Internet breakout is a gateway where the MPLS cloud provider hosts the physical interconnect. This will usually include a Firewall and possibly Web and Email filtering technology. The equipment can be rented from the network operator (where they get to choose the vendors) or owned by you (using equipment from the vendors of your choice) and you pay a hosting fee. Either way there will be some interconnect traffic charges.

The alternative is to handle the Internet connection within your data centre using your existing Firewall and filtering equipment. The simplest solution is to have an Internet connection completely separate from the MPLS tail, perhaps retaining the circuit that pre-dates the MPLS implementation. A more sophisticated solution is to use a single circuit with the bandwidth split between MPLS and Internet traffic. The shared circuit will have lower costs than two independent ones but it is a single point of failure unless failover circuits are included. Remember that branch office Internet connectivity is traversing both the MPLS and Internet circuits in this model.