May 21, 2009

2009 MPLS VPNs State-of-the-Market Report

  • Webtorials Editorial/Analyst Division
MPLS VPNs: The Foundation for Emerging Apps
Collaborative applications ranging from unified messaging to high-end telepresence are finding their way onto MPLS VPNs. Use of these applications is being partially fueled by the expectations set by mobile and social networks, which allow dynamic communications and file sharing and are spilling over from the consumer market to the business environment. In addition, enterprises have an economic need to find less expensive and more streamlined ways to build customer and business partner relationships and streamline productivity. This said, the broadband networks with the required bandwidth, QoS, performance management and privacy capabilities are available to support them. MPLS VPNs, in particular, offer strong support for intranet collaboration because of their bandwidth and low-latency characteristics, including QoS packet prioritization and the ability to route directly from site to site. In addition, MPLS VPNs offer inherent privacy using VRF partitioning. A host of network-based security service add-ons are available for other layers of protection against malware, spyware and DoS attacks that might come from MPLS VPN gateway connections to the public Internet.

MPLS VPNs: A Current Look 

It is clear that businesses select applications based on their merit and business requirements and then match the appropriate network infrastructure to those applications. The rise of real-time applications along with respondents' stated desire for QoS, direct inter-site connections and high network performance with minimal latency, jitter and packet loss reflects this premise. Meantime, hybrid WANs remain in use to solve different types of application requirements, led primarily by Ethernet and Internet VPN services. Some legacy services, particularly private lines, will remain a staple in enterprise WANs, though ATM uses are likely to wane the fastest as new MPLS VPN installations bring the required bandwidth, QoS and dynamic linkages to the table.

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