VPLS - Virtual Private LAN Service Network Solutions

VPLS Network Solutions

The network connectivity has been changing over the past few decades. With corporates growing fast, it is becoming important to connect various branches to ensure better integration in the operations. This is putting more stress on the service provides to build infrastructure for these demands. This is where Virtual Private LAN Services - VPLS networks become so important and useful.

When we look at the evolution of large companies we see that they start with a single office, which typically becomes the head office and then expand from there on. As a new branch gets added anywhere, it gets connected to the head office. This kind of topology where each branch is connected to a single head office is called a hub and spoke connection. This is a popular topology even today for many companies.

However, with increasing operations and streamlining, many branches are becoming important operation centers. As a result, the remote branches are not just requesting information from the head office, but are also resources for the branches in the company. This really means that multiple branches need to be connected to each other for better access to data. This is a multipoint to multipoint topology.

LAN solutions have always been the best for multipoint solutions. Since they were invented, they have been perfected to handle high speed data for varying number of nodes effectively and efficiently. They can adapt the link rates dynamically and adding or deleting nodes in the LANs is not a problem at all. This is the reason why many enterprises prefer to stick to a similar solution for their multipoint needs too.

The service provider answer for this LAN like solution requirement is VPLS. VPLS typically terminates as a LAN connection on the customer equipment and interfaces to the network over a provider edge router. This solution leverages the IP/MPLS networks in the service provider backbone to provider 1 to 10 Gbps multipoint connections to different branch offices. For the service provider the existing IP/MPLS network can be reused which is a big plus in providing the service.

In the VPLS architecture, the provider edge (PE) router looks up the VLAN of the packet and tags it with the respective virtual circuit details. The packet is then passed through the core networks over LSP tunnels to reach the destination PE router which forwards the packet to the customer equipment within the enterprise LAN.

Thus VPLS helps extend the local LAN connectivity across the service provider core to remote branches giving the enterprises extended LAN coverage. Previously, this would require a WAN connection between the offices. The WAN links were generally of much lower speeds than the LAN due to the distance constraints.

Over the years, there has been an increasing need to expand LAN coverage areas to longer distances due to the obvious benefits over the slower WAN technologies. VPLS is a striking example of the success of such endeavors. Through VPLS solutions, services providers can provide LAN connectivity between various branches for enterprises.

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