Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)

Multiprotocol Label Switching or MPLS is used by many telecom operators and internet providers in their networks to avoid costly routing mistakes and achieve higher level of quality. MPLS was introduced to solve the problem of EDGE/ TDMA connections where there is no physical connection between two nodes. With the introduction of new networking technologies like Gigabit Ethernet and VoIP, the need for reliable and speedy connectivity became all the more essential. Multiprotocol Label Switching was then proposing to deal with this issue.

The Multiprotocol Label Switching method involves the use of labels instead of TCP session values as a means of demarcating the path of data packets. These labels are created by the network hardware or by a program and are then applied onto the incoming packets. The process is simple enough and does not involve any kind of forward error or complication. The process works well when the network traffic passes through many small hops instead of relying on large packets of data sent in bulk. This allows for small adjustments in the forwarding path without drastic changes in the forwarding path of the packet. The multilayered nature of the technology allows for easy configuration and advanced usage.

The benefits of the technology include reduced power consumption, cost, and latency of bandwidth, as well as simplified system troubleshooting. With MPLS the network traffic follows a path of least path length i.e. it is simpler to understand that the packets do not have to follow a path through the entire server. With the help of different MPLS techniques such as off-site and on-site forwarding, users are able to receive an IP packet with different header fields and this improves the quality of the connection.

A Multiprotocol Label Switching technology uses some specific types of service domains and the purpose of these service domains varies with different network environments. These service domains are like area codes and this helps in the quick and easy identification of the location of a particular data packet within a large geographical area. It is also possible to select the path of the packet based on the service status of the IP network. For instance in a corporate environment, where all the employees are connected to the company network through different access points, the data packets can be identified in a fast way. This type of service delivery helps organizations reduce the cost involved in the traditional IP based routing mechanism.

In some environments, where the packet enters the network through different gateway devices or switch ports, there is need for some extra capabilities. Multiprotocol label switching routers with flexible address lists are required to support flexible gateways and port numbers to support multiple private branch offices (PBX). This technology helps in efficient allocation of the various routes of the packet to various departments and executives. This leads to a significant reduction in call handling costs and improves employee productivity.

In some other cases, where data packets enter the network in large volumes and get routed over multilayered circuits, Multiprotocol Label Switching has the potential to benefit the networking operations. It is due to this reason that in many organizations across the world a majority of the companies use the technology. The main advantage of using this type of switching is that it helps in reducing overhead costs as different labels are associated with different paths of the data packets. In addition, the use of MPLS technology allows for the efficient forwarding of voice conversations over certain areas of the network. With the help of MPLS technology, users can achieve more bandwidth than the conventional networks.