As bandwidth continues to decrease in cost and services utilizing that bandwidth continue to grow in robustness, companies are increasingly finding it worthwhile to move evermore critical business processes to the cloud. The level of flexibility, scalability, security and business continuity offered by hosted solutions is simply too good to pass up, especially considering the associated costs.
Meanwhile, the growing consumer mobility trend has employees clamoring for the ability to use their own personal mobile devices in the office. Businesses have been quick to oblige, with the prospects of increased employee productivity and reduced equipment costs. The BYOD (bring your own device trend) has thus taken off, and new technologies have emerged to help keep employee and corporate data both separate and secure.
These technologies have brought about a revolution in the way business is conducted. Of course, many of the businesses adopting these solutions are multi-location enterprises, with several branches, campuses, and other office buildings scattered throughout the country and even the world. Keeping cloud and BYOD services consistent and functional across such geographically disparate organizations can be a challenge. Fortunately, a technology known as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) exists to help such companies maintain efficient network performance across their organization.
“MPLS is uniquely poised to respond to the challenges raised by [the cloud],” wrote AireSpring’s Jon Beadle in a recent blog post. “Thanks to its ability to mesh together multiple nodes, MPLS can easily provide connectivity to multiple offices and data centers. Additionally, MPLS VPNs offer increased security to protect important data, while offering more reliability and less traffic congestion.”
Essentially, MPLS is able to make a wide area network (WAN) operate and feel as if it were a local area network (LAN). The protocol forwards packets along predetermined paths based on application and routing information using label identifiers, which allow the network to differentiate between various types of network traffic. This traffic can then be routed along optimal paths for any given service. A global corporate network thus performs as if it were a singular, self-contained network.
This quality-of-service capability of MPLS also comes in handy when trying to manage a corporate BYOD environment. With a large number of mobile devices competing for bandwidth on a businesses network, MPLS can use class of service information to dictate BYOD traffic segregation, freeing up the rest of the network for more mission critical operations.
“This separation can also be used to provide added security by keeping BYOD devices separate from the corporate network where critical information is store,” Beadle notes “This reduces the risk of sensitive data leaking out if a device is lost or stolen. MPLS can also be used with mobile device management (MDM) solutions to ease the hassle of managing the many different types of devices that employees bring with them.”
Clearly, a company has a lot to gain from employing MPLS. Take AireSpring’s (News - Alert) MPLS Mesh service, for example. The solution is ideal for companies looking to link all of their sites to a single IP network or to create multiple secure networks to segment their data. Using MPLS, AireSpring can improve network efficiency with flexible addressing options and Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities, which enables an organization to prioritize traffic over a single infrastructure, optimizing voice, video and data and other services.
Those interested in learning more can meet with AireSpring at booth No.507 during the final day of ITEXPO at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Jan. 31.