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MPLS vs VPLS

MPLS provides a cost-effective and reliable way to route your business traffic over your wide area Network and to your Cloud providers.

The uniqueness of MPLS, when compared to its competing technologies, is its use of labelling. Voice and data get sent in packets so when those packets are received at the MPLS Network, each packet is assigned a label.

Due to the labelling technology, the speed of routing is much faster than non-MPLS routers, and MPLS Networks also achieve greater Quality of Service (QoS) for its customers.

But what is VPLS?

There is a lot of talk around MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service), and the benefits of one over the other.

To put it simply, VPLS offers everything MPLS can offer but has the ability to do more if required - making it future proof and flexible.

MPLS isn’t redundant and is certainly still a viable option for many businesses, however at Exponential-e we use VPLS which we consider to be more versatile to meet business critical needs.

Supercharged MPLS

With VPLS we are able to dramatically increase what we are able to achieve for a customer from a technical standpoint, and can also achieve this much faster. VPLS is also easier to support, which in turns reduces costs and improves the customer experience for a business.

VPLS technology enables businesses to maintain control over routing, which is a benefit when it comes to security concerns, and is also protocol independent.

However there are limitations in the number of sites that can be supported by VPLS and the associated availability of Ethernet coverage, so for many a hybrid deployment of both MPLS and VPLS services may better suit.

Technical Features Comparison

Take a look at our table below to see further technical comparisons between MPLS and VPLS.

Features MPLS VPLS
Point to multipoint Connectivity. YES YES
Carry IP packets. YES YES
Carry non IP traffic IPX, UDUD, CDP, LLDP, RSTP etc. NO YES
The customer can carry their own VLANs ithin the service. NO YES
Service has multicast support (IGMP Snooping). NO YES
IP subnets extendable over multiple geographical sites, Layer 2 adjacency for VMware NO YES
Ability to run any interior gateway protocol between customer sites, including OSPF or EXGAP. NO YES
Ability for customer to take complete control of their own Layer 3 environment. NO YES
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