Question on benefit Private Line vs MPLS

Unanswered Question
Dec 8th, 2010

Hi,


Imagine a 5,000 employee organization distributed across two states.

30 sites all connected via Private Line with old, end of life and unsupported routers.

IT folks are making a case they do not know whether they should invest in MPLS, since Private Lines have been installed at reasonable cost.

Question:
From an IP management and administrative viewpoint, please let me know concrete points MPLS could offer value and incentives to make them pay more, buy new CPE and get connected to MPLS. If you have a seen a business or case study on that, please let me know.

I would look into support issues with existing solution and quantify that into ROI to justify investment into MPLS, but I would like to get some feedback from an IP management and network management viewpoint.

I have this problem too.
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lgijssel Wed, 12/08/2010 - 10:19

Typically MPLS is cheaper because the bandwidth is shared. It also provides any-to-any connectivity.

Leased lines are point-point so potentially there are more hops between sites and traffic patterns may not always be optimal.

This depends on your topology of course. If your network consists of branch offices all connecting to HQ this is a non-issue.

MPLS is the better choice when you have any-to-any connection requirements (voip?)

If you already have leased lines at low costs you also have the option to upgrade / replace existing equipment instead of migrating to mpls.

This would be a bing-bang investment.

With mpls providers, you pay more in the end but you have the option to incorporate hw-costs into the monthly fee.

Many companies find this financial model attractive.

Regarding IP management there will be little difference. The provider will simply route what is needed, no matter how crappy your ip plan is.

If you want to optimize your routing, you have to do this yourself. Don't expect any help or suggestions from the provider for technical matters.

A typical difference when it comes to network management is that outages of a line mostly affect only one site with mpls.

However, it may be more severe when your provider is having problems.

With  leased lines, the impact will vary with the line that's affected but it will be at least one site. Again, the topology is crucial for determining this.

Finally, with a leased line solution, you are in control, with mpls you will often need to rel on the provider. It's just what one is most comfortable with.

regards,

Leo

Jon Marshall Wed, 12/08/2010 - 14:42

Leo has covered it really well.

Only thing i would add is QOS. If you want to implement QOS currently then you are not reliant on the provider, you simply allocate bandwidth between apps on your leased line.

If you want to implement QOS with MPLS you need to liase with your provider and, potentially pay more for priority traffic as all your traffic within the MPLS cloud will be by default, best effort. Your QOS markings will not be honored by the provider unless you agree this with them.

Jon

Tharak Abraham Thu, 12/09/2010 - 07:17

Addition to what is said;

I would ask you to check on your requirements before investing too much on IT

1. Thinking of future, does it call for an expansion ? More head count or more sites ?

2. How is VoIP ?

3. Are the end user happy with the existing performance ?

If you just need more BW, then you dont need MPLS.

But you may have to invest on the new hardware/routers/switches and its highly recommended.

There are lot of factors to support the statement.

Security and Redundancy, needless to tell is another thing we all forget.

In the end we know that during production hours, "time is money"

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Posted December 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM
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