If you own a business, you may have experienced the stress and confusion of wanting to grow your IT network but not having the IT knowledge to know where to begin. MPLS might sound like another complicated concept, but getting your head around this surprisingly understandable tech could revolutionize your company.
We’re here to explain to you exactly what MPLS means, how it operates in plain English, and how it can bring some huge benefits to your business.
Ultimately, you’re going to want to track down the best MPLS providers in your area to understand the integration and costs involved – but, by exploring this information, you’ll at least have an idea as to whether or not it’s a technology that could help in principle.
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What Is An MPLS System?
Let’s begin by breaking down this intimidating acronym: MPLS stands for ‘Multi-Protocol Label Switching’, and can be utilized if you want to improve connections. But this doesn’t mean the connections between your network and the rest of the internet – the intention is actually to improve the connections within your own network by making the methods of sending data more efficient.
To break it down a little further, the ‘Multi-Protocol’ part indicates that it’s a method of managing data that functions regardless of the protocol (or language) the devices on your network use to send data to and from. The ‘Label’ is a small chunk of data stuck on the end of the rest of the data traveling within your network – it’s there so that a Label Switch Router, the ‘Switching’ bit of the acronym, can use this information to sort through the data.
Understanding How MPLS Works
Still, struggling to understand how this all works? Try to think of it as similar to the postal system, with the data as thousands of letters being sent to all kinds of places. You wouldn’t have the drivers all randomly set off without checking their schedule, or you might find after driving all the way to locate one that location two was right next to the starting point!
Similarly, you need to make sure that your data is being sent as efficiently as possible – an MPLS system can identify the priority and destination, and send the data dynamically down the best route even as priorities change.
How Could MPLS Benefit Your Business?
Now you have a solid understanding of the basic principles of MPLS, we can talk about it in terms of business to make the benefits clearer – no matter how good the tech is, it’s no use if it can’t help your company! Luckily, there is a huge range of benefits that come with implementing an MPLS system, and we’ve listed just a few of them below.
Improving End-User Experiences
An increasing number of businesses have been taking advantage of real-time and cloud-based applications to perform day-to-day tasks, meaning that end users can provide the best possible service for customers. But these applications are known for suffering from poor network performance, which is where an MPLS system can help. If you’ve ever had to deal with data loss from a connection dropping or network latency, then this could make a huge positive impact.
Creating Faster Speeds
Your business deals with a lot of data on a daily basis, meaning that you’ve likely come across the annoyance of network congestion many times before. If you use an MPLS system, every type of traffic can be routed along separate paths, allowing for faster data delivery and reducing the wait times that can arise from intense traffic.
Even outside of the world of IT, simplifying a system is one of the best ways to decrease the chance of errors. Through a complex network shouldn’t be much of a challenge for an experienced team, the need for more management also inevitably means a higher chance of human error. By lowering the need for people to tinker with your IT network, you’re simultaneously lowering the chance of them inadvertently causing downtime for your business. Not only does this mean a better customer experience, but also the potential to avoid some enormous financial losses.
Boosting Business Expansion
A few years ago, methods of expanding network infrastructure tended to involve configuring a complex mesh of tunnels for data that safeguard routes along with wider circuits, allowing data to be delivered fairly quickly. But MPLS systems are much quicker and more straightforward than the old tech, and can dynamically find the optimal route for data, removing the need for a more complicated structure.
Simplifying Your Network
One useful way to view an MPLS connection is to interpret it as a long cable between two distant locations. It’s more complicated in reality, with hops required in between each device, but an MPLS system with the correct labels allows you to massively simplify how the data is sent along with the network. Taking out any unnecessary complications is also useful for IT professionals who’ll be grateful to work on the system with nothing in their way!
Should You Introduce MPLS Into Your IT Network?
You might still be on the fence about whether an MPLS system will work for you – here’s a few questions you can consider if that’s the case:
- Do you use your company network for voice and data?
- Does your network contain many types of data that are using just a few connections?
- Do you suffer from extreme network congestion?
- Do you want to reduce the risk of downtime?
- Do you need the quick provisioning of sites for business expansion
Implementing a system like this always requires research, but if you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ll likely find MPLS to be extremely beneficial for your business. Next, you should start thinking about how you’ll go about finding a good MPLS provider that can help you work with this technology – there’s no use in installing it if you can’t make the most of it!
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