MPLS is a data transport system which is starting to rapidly replace other systems, such as ATM, and which forwards packets of data to any network protocol. It provides fast packet forwarding for IP routers and it is being deployed more quickly because of the scalability it allows. It simplifies and improves IP packet exchanges. Furthermore, it provides more flexibility in a network to route data around failures in links and blockages.
There is a lot of choice on the market for MPLS service providers which can make it difficult for you to select the right one for your business. To help you choose the most suitable provider for your business, here are six tips to use when looking at MPLS service providers:
- Brand or Niche Provider? Determine whether the service provider you are looking at is a managed service provider of MPLS or one of the well known, branded providers. There’s a difference which will come to light in the next point.
- Do they understand you? A managed service provider is an MPLS provider that adds value to the service which they lease from one of the major suppliers. These companies often provide services suitable to a specific niche in the market. Check whether they service your market because they may provide specialized tools, applications or plans that fit what you do more closely.
- Who supplies them? Check how many MPLS companies supply the managed service providers you are looking at because this, generally, means you will get a more reliable service from them than if they have just one provider.
- What good are your router programming skills? Determine how much in-house programming experience you have with router networks. If you have very little capability then look at service provider that can handle that for you so you can concentrate on our own LAN.
- Internationally Capable? If you have multiple locations to your business including international locations, look for MPLS service providers that can help you internationally as part of their core business.
- How healthy are they? Do your research on the providers you have short listed. You need to know how healthy they are before you commit your business to them.
Take some to determine exactly what you need to fit your business. It’s worth shopping around for MPLS service providers and getting several quotes once you have determined whether the providers can support your specific needs.
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