VPLS is a layer 2 WAN service that effectively extends your LAN to multiple business locations.
By: John Shepler
Typical methodologies for connecting multiple business locations have included Frame Relay, VSAT satellite terminals, Internet-based VPNs and proprietary wireline networks constructed from point to point T1 lines. Now there’s a new technology that has performance and cost advantages that make it extremely attractive for branch offices, retail franchise, medical clinics and other businesses that need connectivity among many locations. It’s called Ethernet VPLS and it’s available now.
What is a Virtual Private LAN?
What is Ethernet VPLS and why is it better? The VPLS acronym stands for Virtual Private LAN service. That sounds a lot like a local area network, but run by a carrier and spread over a city, state or the entire country. That’s exactly what it is. Ethernet VPLS combines the advantages of Ethernet connectivity with the geographic service footprint and security of a MPLS IP-VPN network. The result is a layer 2 WAN service that safely extends your corporate LAN wherever you want it to go.
XO Communications, one of the country’s leading competitive carriers, is offering an Ethernet VPLS service that can transport both your IP and non-IP traffic. XO has an extensive nationwide fiber optic network and is a provider of Ethernet connectivity using both copper and fiber optic options. That gives them a lot of flexibility in hooking your diverse sites together.
For instance, XO can connect each of your business locations with Ethernet over Copper with speeds from 3 to 20 Mbps, Ethernet over Fiber for speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps, and Broadband Wireless access in major metro areas with speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. All of these access options are scalable, so you can start with the bandwidth you need today and easily expand, location by location, as business activity dictates.
You Control Your Network
The beauty of Ethernet VPLS is that you maintain control of your network just as if you owned the wiring that interconnects all of your bridged LANs. You can maintain separate networking domains as if they were on the same LAN regardless of how far they are separated.
This is a switched layer-2 network service that can be configured as point to point, point to multipoint, or multipoint to multipoint fully meshed for any to any connectivity. If you’ve put a lot of time and effort into converging your voice, video and data networks, your investment is protected by four robust classes of service. These include real time, critical, priority and standard CoS. Enterprise VoIP and video multicasting have the resources they need to deliver high quality performance.
The WAN capability is there to support anything you want to do on your network. But the cost per Mbps beats competing technologies hands down. That’s a winning combination that will likely see Ethernet VPLS become a dominant WAN networking service in the near future. Why not put it to work for you right now, before your competitors catch on?
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