VPLS Networks Interconnect Business LANs
A Virtual Private LAN Service, or VPLS, is the way to integrate local networks at multiple business location into one comprehensive LAN
By: John Shepler
Does your company have multiple locations? I’ll bet each one has its own LAN for computing and perhaps VoIP telephony, doesn’t it? So, how do you connect them all together?
The answer is probably “With some difficulty.”
Well, how would you like to be able to do that with very little difficulty, and perhaps at a considerable cost savings over your present point to point communications links? The network service you’ll be interested in is called VPLS or Virtual Private LAN Service.
VPLS is a class of VPN or Virtual Private Network that connects multiple sites to form a single bridged domain. It is implemented using a MPLS or Multi-Protocol Label Switching Network. That makes it protocol-transparent so that all services, regardless of which location the are physically located at, appear to be on the larger LAN that serves all locations.
VPLS is sometimes called Transparent LAN service. That’s because WAN communications moves from level 3 to level 2. Your connection to the network is via a managed edge switch that is provided by the network operator. The inherent broadcast nature of Ethernet is preserved, creating a “plug and play” environment as new services are added to the network and discovered by other members connected to the VPLS.
VPLS might be the right service for your company or organization if you need to connect anywhere from a few to a few dozen locations as if they were on a single Local Area Network. Advantages ofthis approach, compared to a private network arrangement with individual point to point connections back to headquarters, include lower latency, higher efficiency, and lower cost... perhaps much lower cost.
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