Preparing For Enterprise MPLS
by Amr Ahmed
Posted 1/30/2004; Published 7/2003



As enterprise organizations come under increasing pressure to support strategic business requirements for enhanced application performance, and as new infrastructure platforms are introduced, the need for an application-aware and dynamic infrastructure has increased.


Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) provides an answer, but it’s a challenge to build the business case to migrate to an MPLS service: How does one differentiate between technology, service and industry myths, conceptions and realities? What are the relevant differentiators between managed and unmanaged network-based MPLS-VPNs offered by carriers for replacement of traditional VPN services such as frame relay and ATM?


Let’s review typical business objectives and expectations for an enterprise considering a migration to a network-based MPLS-VPN:



Potential reduction to cost of telecommunication services.


Financial benefit from an “any-to-any” network that uses a “distance-independent” pricing model.


Gain a roadmap for mission/business-critical applications such as SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Oracle Financial, MDS, etc., as well as for convergence to video- and voice-over-IP technologies.


Provide an easy path for deployment of future business tools and applications over the network.


While the technology supporting MPLS is interesting and innovative, technology alone won’t determine whether it succeeds in replacing frame relay or ATM clouds for enterprise backbones. Clearly, each enterprise contemplating a migration to MPLS will have to do its homework—clearly define business and technical goals, the importance of differential services for the applications running over their network and the organization’s readiness for significant change to the network culture.


About the author:

Amr Ahmed is the Internetworking Practice leader at Greenwich Technology Partners.



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