Perhaps you are a Credit Union considering upgrading your telecom infrastructure – maybe you are looking for better performance, more bandwidth or more flexibility. This post provides you the pros and cons of using MPLS technology for Credit Union WAN.
What is a WAN (Wide Area Network)?
A wide area network is the set of technologies and telecommunication components that are joined together enabling your branches or remote locations to talk either to each other or to your headquarters.
What is MPLS?
Multiprotocol Layer Switching (MPLS) is an extremely scalable mechanism for high performance telecommunication networks used by organizations of all sizes. Why should MPLS be the option of your network of the future? Here is a quick list of all the different types of networks…
Delivering your Credit Union WAN using MPLS allows for inter-connectivity growth of your network with minimal addition of hardware. A Credit Union MPLS network uses communications via a cloud based network with each node connecting to the network providers MPLS cloud. Unlike the point to point connectivity which requires a router interface connection on both ends of the connection while MPLS allows for adding new remote connections without the requirements of adding hardware at your primary site. This allows for growth at a lesser cost as you do not have to add any hardware interface at your primary site once the network is in place.
The benefits of delivering a Credit Union WAN using an MPLS network are not just restricted to the scalability of the network but it also provides:
- Improved up-time – By providing alternative network paths
- Improved bandwidth utilization – By allowing for multiple traffic types to traverse the network
- Reduced network congestion – By utilizing optional paths for traffic to avoid congestion
- Improved end user experience – By allowing multiple Classes of Service to different types of traffic such as VOIP
One potential drawback of MPLS are the carrier has to play a role in configuration of the overall network. If you are using static routing on your network your provider will be responsible for the routing of data within their MPLS cloud. While using dynamic routing will work in most cases you need to keep in mind that you and your provider will have to work together in routing MPLS traffic. If you want total control of your network MPLS may not be for you.
Another potential drawback with MPLS is security. An MPLS network does not offer any inherent data protection and improper implementation can open your network to vulnerabilities. You should work with your provider to ensure that all devices and interfaces are sufficiently hardened to ensure your network is secured and vulnerabilities are minimized. The standard hub and spoke network provides as a one to one connection between sites which can provide more security than MPLS but there are ways to work around this by utilizing encryption between the connecting routers and ensuring the hardening of your network devices.
To improve the security of your Credit Union Branch Connectivity using an MPLS network – make sure you control the routers, encryption and firewalls at all locations and partner with a Network provider that can manage the end points to provide the level of security your Credit Union needs.
If you are looking to implement a new network or upgrade your existing Credit Union WAN, MPLS is a good option. Are you looking for information on the top criteria to consider in designing a new network? Are you looking for help in determining whether to use T1 lines or a DS3? If you have these or other questions fill out this quick form for more information.