Today’s telecommunications networks are all about:
- High performance,
- Efficient data delivery,
- Complex architecture and
- Extremely dynamic and ever evolving technology.
One such technology that gets deployed in most telecommunications networks today is MPLS or multiprotocol label switching.
What is MPLS?
Telecommunications networks are all about the transmission of data from one point to another. When it comes to MPLS, this mechanism helps to direct such data in the simplest or the shortest path possible. This results in quite a few benefits and features. As far as a network architect is concerned, the multiprotocol label switching mechanism or technology certainly delivers quite a few benefits to be enjoyed.
The shortest path
At the heart of this technology lies the fact that this mechanism works on transmitting data between network nodes on the shortest path possible. This eliminates the usage of long network addresses which in turn simplifies the routing system.
MPLS is also capable of:
- Encompassing different types of network protocols
- Supporting various kinds of technologies such as DSL and Frame Relay and
- Acting independently of protocol
- Being scaled up according to the needs of the user.
In more ways than one, MPLS helps in simplifying the network. For one, this technology is not dependent on a particular data link layer technology. This simply means that the decision to transmit data is made not on the contents of the packet of data but on its label.
As far as data transmission goes, this method of working eliminates complex and longer data transmission processes. Since MPLS also supports multiple types of traffic, there is a more efficient usage of bandwidth as well.
Support for different kinds of traffic
MPLS was created to function as a data carrying protocol that can support packet switching and circuit based networks. Interestingly, MPLS is also defined as a layer 2.5 protocol since it lies between the data link layer or layer 2and the network layer or layer 3. It is therefore able to support and transmit different kinds of traffic. MPLS is also capable of offering higher reliability of traffic within the network since it ensures that data packets travel along pre-determined paths.
Since it is described as a layer 2.5 technology, MPLS allows the customer to enjoy huge cost advantages and scalability as well. Essentially, MPLS allows the sharing of network resources and delivers efficiencies that can help in easier transmission of large scale customer data.
Since it works on identification of labels rather than the content of the data packets, a customer can label high-priority data in such a manner that the network gives such data higher priority. Such a combination of shared network resources and private routing makes this technology highly cost-effective.
This is another huge advantage delivered by the use of MPLS. A user can configure the network automatically and also enjoy the fact that MPLS routing allows the carriage of different types of traffic, regardless of network protocols. It also uses a significantly lower amount of physical resources and this allows the customer to enjoy superfast scalability.