MPLS Resources for Business
Until recently, VoIP had a bad reputation. It was considered to be slow, unstable, and of far too poor quality for business applications. However, the development of MPLS changed all that. MPLS stands for Multi Protocol Label Switching. It is often used to create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for fast, secure communications.
If you’re not familiar with MPLS, then hopefully the following resources will help you:
- MPLS VPN Explained (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPLS_VPN)
For a basic overview of what an MPLS VPN is, and how it is relevant to business telephone systems, the Wikipedia entry is a good start. It isn’t exactly aimed at technology staff, but it does provide a good overview of the nuts-and-bolts of the technology.
- Understanding MPLS VPNS – www.networkworld.com
If you’re not familiar with MPLS, then this series of guides will help you get started with the technology.
- An MPLS VPN Tutorial – CCIE Journey (www.sunpenguin.net)
The CCIE certification is one of the most valuable certifications available to people wanting to work with business telephone systems. This tutorial is a couple of years old, but should still be valuable to those looking to get started in the industry.
- Money Saving Tips for Business (www.businesslink.gov.uk)
Businesslink offers support to UK based businesses. They have a wealth of articles, guides, and case studies on their website, including tips from people who have already invested time and money in upgrading their telephony systems.
- News, Specs, and Phone Information (www.voip-info.org)
If you’re looking for information about VoIP, PaBX systems, MPLS, and other communications technologies, then this wiki is a good place to start. It’s user maintained, and frequently updated. Because of the size of the site, and the number of updates it sees, the admins can’t guarantee accuracy. With that said, it’s a good starting point for future research.
- Places to ask questions (DSLReports.com)
While DSL Reports is primarily a consumer site, they do have some business sections. If you’re looking for comments on the quality of a specific provider, or just want some technical points explained, then this is a good place to start. It’s a good idea to read the FAQ pages before posting. This site has been around a long time, and if your question is a technical one there’s a good chance that many other people have already asked it.
Investing in an MPLS VPN is a logical step for any growing business. It may feel like a big decision, but it’s important to remember that MPLS is a fairly mature technology already. Yes, it is getting updated regularly, but there’s no built-in-obsolescence. Your hardware will continue to work as the technology evolves, and you should benefit from the improvements that each update brings, even if you don’t upgrade your own infrastructure.
Even if you’re still a small company, you can benefit from the power and flexibility of VoIP, and the investment you make today will make life easier for your company in the future when you come to add new lines, handsets, or features.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Maintel the global communication experts, who specialise in MPLS VPN. James writes on subjects relating to business and technology.