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What are the advantages and disadvantages of MPLS?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of MPLS?

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We have a country-wide network of leased lines -- approximately 40 leased lines of 2 MBPS. We want to switch over to MPLS. Please provide the details regarding feasibility of MPLS and its advantages and disadvantages, including data integrity and data security.

This MPLS technology overview is a great resource on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). The advantages of MPLS include enhances data integrity. The service recognizes a Class of Service (CoS), which is attached after the network layer and before the IP address. It is extremely versatile. By being able to select the perfect routes and heal the network should the route go down, your network will remain in working order through some faults (if configured correctly). It also allows for prioritization and other enhancements. The only real disadvantage to MPLS is that you will generally need to upgrade your equipment unless you have routers that are field upgradeable. However, when you consider the uptime in this environment and the better paths that you can utilize, it is a expense that is well worth it.

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This was first published in March 2006

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