What Is MPLS? (Multiprotocol Label Switching)



What Is MPLS?

Have you ever wondered how network operators are able to manage data traffic so efficiently? The answer lies in a revolutionary networking protocol known as Multi Protocol Label Switching, or MPLS for short.

MPLS allows network operators to route data packets through a network based on their content rather than their destination address, resulting in improved speed and quality of network traffic flow. MPLS is a popular technology used by many businesses to efficiently manage their network traffic, assigning labels to each data packet to control the path it follows. This protocol greatly improves network speed, ensuring that users experience uninterrupted connectivity. So the next time you stream your favourite movie or download a large file, you can thank MPLS for making it happen seamlessly.

How MPLS Works

MPLS is a technique for routing network packets that allows network operators to control the path that data takes through their network. Unlike traditional networks where packets are routed at each hop, MPLS works by appending labels that govern packet movement. In this sense, MPLS is like a mass transit system where different bus lines travel different routes.

Each packet is assigned a forwarding equivalence class (FEC) when it enters the network, and all routers within the network are equipped with tables describing what to do with each FEC type. As the packet moves along the FEC path, each router updates the outer label and forwards it onto the next hop. At the final MPLS router, the header is examined and the packet is sent on to the next layer. MPLS greatly improves network performance and reliability, making it a popular choice among businesses and network operators alike.

When Was MPLS Introduced?

The late 1990s were a time of rapid technological innovation, with the rise of the internet and the explosion of online commerce and communication. However, businesses were facing a major challenge: how to keep up with the growing demands of IP-based networks. Traditional routing protocols simply weren't able to handle the scale and complexity of these networks. That's when MPLS came onto the scene, offering a way to improve the scalability, reliability, and performance of IP networks. The IETF Multiprotocol Label Switching working group formed in 1997 to create standards for this new technology, and MPLS quickly gained popularity among network operators. With its innovative approach to routing and switching, MPLS helped pave the way for the modern internet and continues to be a crucial technology today.

Why is MPLS still used?

MPLS offers numerous benefits that are difficult to achieve with other types of networking technologies. With MPLS, businesses can prioritize certain types of traffic over others and control the path that data takes through their network, ensuring that mission-critical applications have the bandwidth and resources they need to function properly. But that's not all - MPLS also offers a high degree of scalability, allowing businesses to add new locations and users to their network with ease. Plus, MPLS provides a high level of security and privacy through encryption, making it the perfect choice for businesses that need to protect sensitive data and applications. So why settle for a slow and unreliable network when you can upgrade to MPLS and enjoy faster, more reliable, and more secure networking?

Benefits of MPLS

Benefits of MPLS include:

Improved network performance: By optimising traffic flow, MPLS reduces congestion and improves network performance.

Quality of service: MPLS prioritises traffic and ensures that mission-critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth and low latency.

Security: MPLS provides a layer of security that makes it difficult for attackers to intercept or compromise data in transit.

Scalability: MPLS is highly scalable and can accommodate a large number of nodes and users on the network.

Cost-effectiveness: MPLS can be more cost-effective than traditional IP routing, especially for organisations with high bandwidth requirements or mission-critical applications.

Reduced network congestion: MPLS supports traffic engineering, including re-routing delay-tolerant traffic to slower, under-utilised routes to free up capacity on quicker, overcrowded paths.

MPLS Connectivity With Glide

Glide offers a range of MPLS-based connectivity solutions designed to meet the needs of modern businesses. Our MPLS solutions provide high-performance, secure, and scalable connectivity for organisations of all sizes. Whether you need to connect multiple sites, support remote workers, or provide high-bandwidth connectivity for mission-critical applications, our MPLS solutions can help.