A private MPLS VPN network delivers the highest reliability, agility, visibility and simplicity for connecting a global enterprises’ complex and highly distributed ecosystem of employees, customers and partners.
Let’s start with the reliability question. Every company must ask how critical network performance and quality are to its business strategy. Whether it’s an extended enterprise with locations around the globe or a local business, most companies will determine that a secure, robust and efficient communications infrastructure is a requirement for competing in today’s always-on global economy. Many customers cannot tolerate any network down-time.
Companies that provide private MPLS networks, such as Verizon, will typically commit to 100% availability of their core network, but will also put in place rigorous quality and process demands on the local access partners they use so the end-to-end quality can actually be guaranteed upfront.
If Murphy’s Law strikes and something does go wrong, all of the e-bonding processes in place will ensure any outage is dealt with swiftly. MPLS VPNs also offer the simplicity and peace of mind that the end-to-end network solution, including access components, are being managed efficiently by the solutions provider, freeing up the customer to concentrate on its core business.
The reliability factor however is only the baseline for ensuring that an underlying technology will be deemed the standard bearer of corporate networks. The more challenging issues are driven by quality elements -- e.g. latency, packet loss, mean opinion scores, etc. -- that are essential for successful transport of applications.
Consider, for example, the convergence of data, voice and video, which has been a primary driver of the MPLS VPN market because of MPLS’ inherent ability to prioritize traffic and ensure consistent performance. Customers that rely on their MPLS VPN network for converged communications need the ability to optimize the use of these resources, without compromising quality, which is where visibility comes into play.
Complete visibility into a corporate network is a necessity, and customers have come to rely on MPLS tools for tracking and predicting actual usage and performance down to the bandwidth and application levels. This enables efficient troubleshooting and obviates the need to fix every problem by blindly throwing additional bandwidth into the network and hoping for the best.
That being said, when additional bandwidth is the answer, MPLS networks are dynamic enough to allow customers to allocate additional bandwidth as needed or change classes of service settings to accommodate regularly recurring events, such as a weekly SAP back-up, or occasional events, such as a live stream video of the CEO.
Today, with enterprise mobility and cloud computing adoption on the rise, the application landscape is rapidly evolving. Whether an enterprise centrally hosts its applications or not, the key to a successful computing environment depends on the accessibility and security of applications and data, all of which rely upon the quality and security of the network.
A recent report by research firm Ovum titled “Cloud Computing: What’s the Network got to do with it?” put it well: “We think the network is an essential part of telcos' value propositions as cloud computing applications move from public IP, with no QoS or SLA guarantees, to trusted networks.”
Indeed, the need for cloud applications to communicate effectively over the WAN will become increasingly critical in network selection, a fact that plays to the strengths of MPLS VPNs.
The quality, reliability, flexibility and simplicity of MPLS VPNs is a perfect complement to the emerging cloud-driven computing world, so much so that MPLS services will become analogous to the electric grid. That is, always on and operating reliably, yet invisible, to the point that when cloud customers ask themselves what the network has to do with it we will argue . . . everything.
Verizon Communications is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.