Guide to MPLS VPN/Ethernet VPLS edge networking services

Ethernet VPLS and MPLS VPN services can play a key role in edge networking design. Our guide looks at deploying these services, their strengths and weaknesses, handling customer expectations and more.

Telecom service providers face their own challenges when consolidating network infrastructure, but add enterprise networking services to that and the complexity multiplies. The solutions are often all about managing the edge networking relationships with enterprise customers.

Working with Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) virtual private network (VPN) technology, Carrier Ethernet standards, virtual private LAN service (VPLS), or virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) in edge networking present different issues. Carriers need to choose the right network routing protocols that work with enterprise customer needs, distinguish between the customer's routing setup and their own, effectively separate customers for security purposes, and make service decisions based on offerings that will provide value in the future.

MPLS VPN and Ethernet-based VPLS technologies can play a crucial edge networking role. This guide looks at what carriers need to know when drawing up plans, how to handle enterprise network routing expectations and guidance on helping enterprises make choices that can benefit them and alleviate stress on service provider network management systems.

TABLE OF CONTENTS



Choosing customer MPLS VPN routing protocols

When providing customers with MPLS VPNs, deciding which network IP protocols to use is a primary concern, with a range of solutions available to suit both telecom service providers and enterprise customers.

Carrier Ethernet: Big picture issues for service provider deployment

Carrier Ethernet standards were designed to address Ethernet technology's shortcomings in access and core networks and in site-to-site transport to bring Ethernet to carrier grade. Still, telecom service providers undertaking large-scale Ethernet deployments face a number of issues.

VPLS: A secure LAN cloud solution for some, not all

VPLS can be the right solution for enterprise customers using non-IP protocols, as well as for disaster recovery scenarios. But service providers and customers need to understand the security implications.

Using VRFs to provision customer traffic

A virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) instance can segment network paths without using multiple devices. Understanding simple VRF configuration can help separate customers, secure sensitive information and simplify operations.

This was first published in June 2010

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