Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a type of data-carrying method for highly powerful telecommunications system that routes data from one node to the next node based on shorter path labels instead of lengthy network addresses, avoiding difficult routing table lookups. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) that employs MPLS to encapsulate and transport data is known as an MPLS VPN.
If you want to understand MPLS VPNs, it’s important to first understand the different types of MPLS VPNs. There are four main types of MPLS VPNs:
- Point-to-Point (P2P)
- Layer 2
- Layer 3
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each type of MPLS VPN and explain when you would use each one.
A Point-to-Point (P2P) network is a basic topology where two sites are connected by a single point-to-point link. A P2P link can be either physical, such as an Ethernet cable or T1 line, or logical, such as an IPsec tunnel. A P2P MPLS VPN is ideal for small businesses that have one office and need to connect it to another office or data center. It is typically used to connect two sites that are geographically close to each other.
A Layer 2 network is a network where sites are connected by Layer 2 bridges, which are devices that forward traffic based on Media Access Control (MAC) addresses. A Layer 2 MPLS VPN is ideal for small businesses that have multiple Layer 2 sites and need to connect them all together. It is also a good choice for businesses that have Layer 2 devices, such as switches and routers, that need to be connected over the VPN. Layer 2 MPLS VPNs are typically used to connect LANs together.
A Layer 3 network is a network where sites are connected by routers, which forward traffic based on Network layer addresses (usually IP addresses). A Layer 3 MPLS VPN is ideal for enterprises that have multiple Layer 3 sites and need to connect them all together.
When choosing which MPLS VPN is right for your business, you will need to take into account the number of sites you have, what type of topology you need, and how much traffic you expect. If you have a small number of sites and need to connect them together, a P2P or Layer 2 MPLS VPN may be a good choice. If you have a large number of sites and need to connect them together, a Layer 3 MPLS VPN may be a better choice.
MPLS VPNs are a versatile and flexible solution for businesses of all sizes. In this blog post, we have taken a look at the different types of MPLS VPNs and when you would use each one.