We just migrated to a new parent company's domain and are on their exchange, updating and moving domain data back and forth. We're upgrading to a 50/10mps cable line, but are getting some pressure to spend a lot of additional money for a MPLS line.
The "regular" ISP connection you refer to is probably a simple connection to the Internet. Usually, it has no end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees—the bandwidth quoted in the ads and on websites is the bandwidth toward the next-hop router, not the end-to-end bandwidth between your sites.
If you connect to the Internet, you're also exposed to all sorts of third-party attacks, as anyone from anywhere in the world can try to get into your router or your LAN. That mandates using a reasonably well-configured firewall, which increases your costs yet again. You could run the firewall functionality on a router, but you'd usually need additional software licenses to do so.
An "MPLS line" is either a VPLS connection, sometimes known as Carrier Ethernet service, or a Layer 3 MPLS VPN connection. In both cases, the service provider should provide end-to-end QoS guarantees (including sustained and burst traffic rate between your sites) as well as total isolation from the rest of the world. Since you're connecting your gear to a (virtually) isolated networking infrastructure, your security needs are way lower, allowing you to use simpler and cheaper devices at your sites.
Have a question for Ivan Pepelnjak? Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Dig Deeper on Telecommunication networking
Related Q&A from Ivan Pepelnjak
Telecom networking expert Ivan Pepelnjak details the similarities and differences between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and multi-tenant ... Continue Reading
It's notoriously hard to limit peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, but IP expert Ivan Pepelnjak has some ideas on how service providers can deal with ... Continue Reading
Telecom networking expert Ivan Pepelnjak only sees one advantage to using Ethernet technology in access networks. Learn what it is, plus three tips ... Continue Reading