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Leveraging MPLS with Cloud Services

Many enterprises rely on multi-protocol label switching VPNs for high-performance, critical communications. Now those services can be enhanced with new virtualized, cloud services for on demand access.

Because it is by definition multiprotocol, MPLS can handle multiple types of data streams, including IP, ATM and frame relay, making it the predominant option for large enterprises.

MPLS utilizes a communication service provider’s (CSP) infrastructure to deliver a segregated wide area network (WAN), avoiding the cost and complexity of an enterprise having to maintain private lines for its WAN. As it is under the control of a single operator and supports traffic policy enforcement, MPLS offers greater reliability and performance for enterprise WANs and VPNs.

IDC analysis

In a recent white paper, IDC analyst Nav Chander notes that “IDC research indicates that more than 30% of enterprises are willing to pay a CSP a premium for a managed private cloud service that supports any combination of hosted VoIP, Web, storage, or SaaS leveraging the inherent QoS of an MPLS/IP VPN service to host these cloud services.”

Virtual private cloud (VPC) services are critical as enterprises rely increasingly on cloud-connected services for key applications. Much as MPLS provides the benefits of a private network with the economics of a public network, VPC services create logical “private” partitions within a public cloud environment, providing the benefits of dedicated private cloud but on a more cost-effective and more flexible basis.

Combining MPLS VPN with private cloud

According to Chander, “enterprises are increasingly expecting their CSP to have the necessary IT and application expertise to manage the combination of MPLS VPN services and private cloud services from the same network.” That combination, he says, provides enterprises with operational simplicity for “managed IP VPN services and future private cloud–based services.”

The AT&T Private Cloud Service, for example, features the benefits of cloud computing — self-service, scalability and flexibility — with the reliability, performance and control of AT&T’s global services.

“The secure connectivity of a private IP VPN service combined with the data security supplied from a VPC service ensures that a customer's data and applications have the high availability, reliability, and flexibility to connect to any enterprise resources,” Chander observes.

Adaptive decisions

Businesses are rushing to adopt innovative technologies in order to meet customer demands and achieve a competitive edge. On this hypercompetitive environment it’s all too easy to make a hasty decision that will actually lock the business into a long-term solution that can limit the agility and flexibility that today’s organizations are striving for.

“Enterprises prefer to choose an MPLS-enabled network that automatically adapts to new applications, including future virtualized or cloud service schemes that enable WAN communication between datacenters, compute resources, and storage resources and that can guarantee the performance and QoS of each cloud computing flow,” says Chander.

Combining MPLS and virtual private cloud makes it possible for enterprises to enjoy new services and capabilities with the type of agility that they have already realized in cloud-based data center services. To access the IDC white paper, please here

Or for more AT&T MPLS information please go to www.att.com/vpn

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