Do you feel as though your business is being held back by your current IT network? If so, implementing MPLS could be the right choice for you.

An intelligent tool for managing data across your network, MPLS can provide your business with faster speeds, greater reliability, and better efficiency. However, you might find it hard to figure out whether it’s a good investment if you don’t know much about this technology. That’s why we’re here to look deeper into what an MPLS system can do for you, how it functions, and how to find a provider that suits your business.

Defining MPLS

Learning the full name of any tech definitely assists in your understanding; in this case, MPLS stands for ‘Multi-Protocol Label Switching’. The first two letters of the acronym refer to the fact that the system works with pretty much any protocol (networking language). The ‘label’ is a very small chunk of data that’s added onto the data being transmitted through the network - this label allows an LSR (Label Switch Router) to easily identify the data and send it through a preset or dynamically decided route, meaning that data can be sent and received as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Essentially, this means that your whole network has a manifest that it can organise itself from - instead of wildly throwing data around in the network and hoping it’ll arrive relatively quickly at its destination, MPLS can find a smarter solution.

What are the benefits of implementing MPLS?

Now that you understand how an MPLS functions, you can start to understand some of the many benefits it can provide for your business:

A Simpler Infrastructure

If you struggle with IT, it can be useful to view your new MPLS system as similar to having a long cable running between any two devices. Inevitably it’s a little more complicated than that, but it ultimately gets you a similar result, giving you a dedicated connection that isn’t tangled up with the messiness of the rest of your network. Any IT professionals that work on your network will greatly benefit from this simplified structure, as understanding the routes traffic is taking will be far more straightforward.

Improved User Experience

Applications that we use on a daily basis are now almost universally stored centrally - we don’t even need to confirm that they’re ‘cloud-based’ anymore to safely assume that they’re being stored centrally and connected through the internet. Of course, this means that any end users of these apps are at the mercy of network speeds, despite the many benefits of software stored centrally. By using MPLS, you can ensure that data is always flowing quickly and efficiently to these important applications, allowing users to work without the hindrance of performance issues.

Greater Efficiency

Another benefit of MPLS is the fact that dynamic handling of data means that any unexpected problems can be quickly taken into account and be resolved. The system is constantly looking out for any unused bandwidth that can be employed in situations like these, keeping these vital pre-configured routes performing well. This functionality can be especially helpful if you often experience strains when different shifts and/or offices come online and briefly swell data, slowing the experience for any end users.

Faster Network Speeds

Networks in businesses are constantly filled with data being transmitted, and this means that congestion can easily occur when limited connections can’t handle the onslaught of data. An MPLS system makes sure that different types of data created by users and applications are assigned to different routes, meaning that data doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Increased Uptime

If it’s easier for IT network engineers to find and fix any issues within your network, you’ll have much less time spent with your vital applications offline and your end-users left stranded. It’s well known that downtime can cost businesses an unbelievable amount of money, so if there’s a way to prevent this, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Is MPLS the best choice for your business?

If you’re seriously considering employing an MPLS system, you should ask yourself a few important questions:
  • Does your business have a voice and data requirement?
  • Does your business have lots of types of network data that run through the same few connections?
  • Is your business ever hindered by IT network congestion?
  • Does your business need to avoid downtime?
  • Finding the right provider for your business
If you’ve decided that MPLS could be the right network solution for your business, then it’s time to start considering how you decide on a provider that can fill your requirements.

The most essential part of this sentence is ‘fill your requirements’ - it’s easy for any random provider to set up your business with some off the rack solution that can benefit you to an extent, but that ultimately isn’t worth the effort. The right managed service provider for you is one that will work with you to find the absolute best system for your business on a bespoke basis.

The next sign of a good provider is a willingness to spend time working with you to find out about your vital processes and end users, considering them in the broader picture of your infrastructure. Of course, this is much easier if a company is great to communicate and work with, and you should tell them early on when you would like this system to be up and running. Related post Could MPLS be the Next Step for Your Business?
This might sound like a difficult task, but there are definitely plenty of providers out there that can give you this experience - if you want to look for them, you can chat to other businesses about their experiences with MPLS providers and see if you can get some testimonials. If you can get some positive responses, then you’ll be closer to finding the ideal MPLS solution.