Ethernet Virtual Private Networks: E-Line, E-LAN, VPLS & MPLS
Preceding the public internet as a viable business wide area networking platform, private carrier networks continue to evolve, keeping pace with market pressures for an efficient, secure and cost effective means to deliver corporate data to remote users. Carrier Ethernet offers a unique point of entry to a very flexible, highly configurable and scalable set of enterprise class, network access, value add and managed services. Ethernet E-Line, E-LAN and VPLS each offer distinct values, effectively delivering data across campus, metro, national & international locales.
Recognizing that change is inevitable, followed by rapidity, Carrier Ethernet services are engineered to adapt, scale and flex to fluctuating business conditions. Deployed over fiber, copper & wireless network architectures, Ethernet virtual private network (VPN) point to point (P2P) and multipoint (P2MP) services have tremendous reach with availability to well over 90% of business locations. Ethernet E-Line (ELS or Ethernet Line Services), a point to point service, and E-LAN, the point to multipoint service are both MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) standards implemented in network switching equipment as Layer 2 protocols within the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. Network ingress/egress occurs within CPE (customer premise equipment) called a UNI (user network interface). CoS (class of service) can be implemented by customers via software on multiple levels including physical port, MAC address (source or destination) and VLAN ID (virtual LAN identifier).
"MPLS is a fundamental protocol that's going to be used for the next 10 to 20 years because it's the first complete and stable convergence protocol for data, voice and video."
- Hossein Eslambolchi, CTO & CIO, AT&T; President, AT&T Labs
Mixed use and larger networks, where the prioritization of specific applications or individual data types is highly critical, is typically accomplished by using VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service), an Ethernet over MPLS implementation. By leveraging the CoS capabilities of MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), customers have the strongest degree of control to prioritize time sensitive applications like voice and video over other applications like web browsing or e-mail.
Subscribing to a end-to-end managed network guarantees the highest quality of service (QoS) while reducing customer operational, administrative and management responsibilities and total cost of ownership. Technicians benefit from online portals to monitor performance, port utilization and optimize traffic handling (manage class of service). Likewise, administrators have ready access to easy-to-use management tools to view order detail, view and download invoices, billing detail and escalation tools. Managed services mean that you place your data on the network, and the network does its job of delivering the data with accuracy, on time, packet after packet!

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