MPLS or Point-to-Point choice

Unanswered Question
May 13th, 2010

Hi,

We need to connect around 60 to 70 locations to a central location by WAN.  Each location need at lease T1 link.

1.

With this situation if we fo for point to point links we will need STM at (central location) where we can terminate 64 T1 or E1 links. Do we have any other interface cards that can  be installed in mid  range router to support termination of these many E1 or T1.  ( 3800 or new 3900 series ). Or else we may have to select 7600  series to install STM module. That may go well above budget !!

Benefit of point-to-point link is total flexibility we can have our own routing protocol, QoS

2. If we go for MPLS links what we need a around 50 mbps at central location ( theoritically ) that will be given by service provider by fastethernet. We can terminate it on HWIC or fast ethernet card. And we dont need STM module or higher end router.

Disadvantages is that we may not get flexibility for QoS or we may need to additional service from service provider for Voice,video or ERP applications.

Advantage is we dont need to worry about any routing protocol,  as a default route to service provider is what needed on all routers. Unless we configure own GRE tunnels and configure IPSEC.

Configuring GRE or IPSEC will be configured also on point to point links so it's acomman factor.

Apart from this,  proposal from service provider regarding budget will definitely play important role in decision.

What infrastructure we need at our end will be important as well : STM with 7600 series with pt-to-pt links or mid-range 3845- HWIC with MPLS

At branch location any 1800 or 3825 with T1 / WIC-2T/HWIC  connectivity is same in both cases.

Please share the experience with pros and cons

Thanks

Subodh

I have this problem too.
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vmiller Thu, 05/13/2010 - 08:07

Before you enter into any discussion with a carrier regarding MPLS, You

should be able to articulate to them your QOS requirements. Most carriers in the

States have a variety of options for handling customer marked traffic in their

environment.

I would also suggest getting pricing for all the proposed point to point links,

and establish what your monthly recurrring charge will be for any inter office

carrier services. Keep in mind it will be on your staff to mangage that piece.

Try to contact as many MPLS providers as possible, (within reason) get them to

answer an RFP, which will make you docuement your service requirements.

spremkumar Thu, 05/13/2010 - 08:10

hi subodh

Based on my SP experience and the way the technology/customers are thinking its best at this point of time to go with MPLS.

The obvious reasons are better manageability you don't need to monitor the link from your remote locations till to your head office with MPLS.

You need to maintain the last mile and the coordination required time required to find out the fault points is easy when compared to point to point links where you have multiple exchanges and NLDs comes into picture.

The pricing also plays a important role its proven that point to point is economical and cheaper than mpls if the connectivity requirement is just between 4 or 5 locations. In your case you are talking about a min of 60 odd locations for which mpls is beneficial.

Maintenance of the routing infrastructure built on top of the physical layer becomes more burden although it can be handled through proper process and design/planning but with mpls your SP handles the routing for your and you need to give your requirement on the type of connectivity you expect with the network.

Addition and removal of new/existing sites are fairly easy with mpls than your normal traditional p2p network.

Other than that you have better qos functionalities available on top of MPLS with redundant backbone since you are leveraging the advantage of your SP having highly available backbone infrastructure.

You can also negotiate strict SLA terms for your uptime,delay etc for your locations, various traffic classes.

Also you dont need to source huge bandwidth in the central site in the form of STM or DS3 to have p2p serials to get mapped. You can simply rely on ethernet at the central site which gives the liberty of going for bandwidth on fly,as on when you requirement arises you can upgrade the bandwidth with no additional hardware or capex involved.

regds

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