The buzz seems to be around MPLS and Metro Ethernet - MPLS for its QoS capabilities and Metro Ethernet for its speed and relatively low cost. Frame Relay is still very widely used, but is giving way to either frame services riding on IP or completely IP based services such as network based VPN, etc. ATM is still widely used in the service provider space, but is being phased out at the enterprise level as evidenced by Cisco's removal of ATM from some of its exams.
ISDN is definitely old stuff now. In fact, in the land Down Under, it's considered dial-backup technology. Although some companies do use this technology as their primary "always-on" WAN connection (the number is dwindling fast thanks to ADSL, especially coupled with semi-managed service offering with layer-3 MPLS VPN).
IMHO, I agree with the previous poster that the "in" thing now is definitely MPLS-based WAN connectivity. Be it layer-3 or layer-2 MPLS.
I don't know about other parts of the world, especially in the US and Europe, but here in Oz, not many service providers offer layer-2 MPLS VPN. Most, if not all, only offer layer-3 VPN. What's the difference? I'm no MPLS expert, but, my understanding is layer-2 MPLS VPN will provide you with pseudo-directly connected VPN/PVC between two sites. Hence, when you traceroute from one site to the other, you'd only see 1 hop.
Conversely, layer-3 VPN will necessitate you to share your routing topology with the service provider. In fact, with this offering, for remote sites that do not require redundancy, the CPE will only require a default route pointing to the service provider's PE router that the CPE is directly connected to.
Hi everyone, I would like to thank you in advance for any help you can provide a newcomer like myself!
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