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What is your take on MPLS and its effect/importance on VPNs and overall corporate WAN efficiency/sec

What is your take on MPLS and its effect/importance on VPNs and overall corporate WAN efficiency/security?

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MPLS offers a number of benefits that enhance VPN, including scalability, performance, security, and efficiency. It certainly bears careful consideration, particularly when building out new networks, for large-scale deployments. The overall network performance picture includes support for IP-based services and therefore continued progress toward data convergence, while maintaining most of the traditional advantages of ATM and frame relay.

If the alternative to MPLS for broad deployment security is IPsec, then it should be an obvious choice - encryption is only a functional aspect of security, not a complete solution. Further, the apparent trend for corporate networks is toward "privatization" of networks in the general theme of the Infranet (as suggested by Juniper) – should this trend further develop, MPLS would likely be amongst the fundamental building blocks.

This was first published in June 2004

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