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boomchke
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MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:42 pm

So I have a client who is upgrading a current frame relayy connection between their main office and the data center. By the time I got involved the telco had already convinced them that a MPLS network would be the best solution. I dont have too much experience with MPLS but Im assuming its more expensive than a point to point T1. They need at least 3 meg connectivity so Im still thinking that mulitlink point to point T1's would still be more expensive.

Isnt the real advantage of MPLS when you have multiple sites? You connect into the cloud so if one site goes down all the others can still talk?

I'd think for just two sites point to point t1's would be cheaper. If thats the case I could just get 1841's at each site and put two wics in each....

Any thoughts?

Thanks - jon
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Vito_Corleone
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:42 pm

Ask the telco what the price difference is? There's a chance MPLS will be cheaper.
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:31 pm

If its not what are the differences either way?
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Vito_Corleone
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:49 pm

For two sites, there isn't much benefit in using MPLS. The benefits are realized more with multiple sites due to the scalability of MPLS.
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:02 pm

mpls has a good chance of being cheaper since it's more of a shared architecture (as opposed to dedicated lease lines that cant be shared across customers during light utilization periods)

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geotech3
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:05 pm

I just had the same decision to make with 19 sites.
We decided hub-and-spoke on T1s on Ds3.
The cost was a lot less. Plus we didn't need the sites to communicate with each other as all resources are centralized.
Just make sure your carrier has good SLA on the point-to-points. In one year, the most outage time I have experienced is 4 hours on a particular site.
Unless you need integrated services for data, voice, internet...MPLS would be overkill for just a few sites. At least on the pricing I received.

Hope this helps.

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:29 pm

We have 29 sites worldwide and use MPLS for most sites. It is more expensive than pt to pt but its easier to manage, unfortunatly we haven't been able to centralize services so its great that every site can communicate directly.

For 2 sites, PT to PT for sure. Do you need QOS? You can probably get 10x the Internet bandwidth for the cost of a pt to pt bundled T1 setup. Most providers I get to throw in the routers for free (leased) so you don't have to outlay any cash.

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:27 am

I'll second point-to-point for 2 sites. We pay $1400/mo for a 100Mbps connection with 0.5msec average one-way latency. The last time I used an MPLS T1, the cost was $1200/mo per site.

RLHennig
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:36 pm

Why wouldn't you use a frame relay connection? A T1 line is going to be slower and more epensive, since you're paying for a leased line and you only get 1.544 Mbps? Since frame relay is 45 Mbps, making it faster, and the connection is virtual, you don't have the heavier costs associated with a physically dedicated line, right?

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:49 pm

RLHennig wrote:Why wouldn't you use a frame relay connection? A T1 line is going to be slower and more epensive, since you're paying for a leased line and you only get 1.544 Mbps? Since frame relay is 45 Mbps, making it faster, and the connection is virtual, you don't have the heavier costs associated with a physically dedicated line, right?


None of that is true. Frame Relay doesn't have to do with speed, it's a layer 2 protocol. Read up on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_Relay

Maybe you were thinking of a DS3, which is ~45mb, but also very expensive.
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:52 pm

Alright, thanks - it seems I was a bit confused there. Here's my updated understanding of frame relay:
It's a layer 2 protocol that encapsulates frames for transmission between LANS over a WAN, and supports a variety of speeds.
What, then, is the difference between a T1 line, and a frame relay connection? If you would describe frame relay as a layer 2 protocol that does this frame encapsulation to transmit data, how would you describe T1?

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:06 pm

FR is layer 2, and a T1 is layer 1. That being said, they're entirely unrelated.

You could, in fact, have FR running over a T1 just fine, and the FR circuit would be limited to 1.544Mbps (as bit-rate is typically controlled by the physical layer). Many times people simply get a PPP circuit (layer 2) over a T1 (layer 1). A T carrier (T1, in this case) is a means of getting bits onto a wire, whereas a layer 2 protocol such as FR is in charge of slightly higher-level functions like encapsulation of data and physical addressing.

If you've got more questions regarding the relationship please post a topic dedicated to it in Tech Discussions since we don't want to lose focus in this thread.

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:10 pm

FR is layer 2, and a T1 is layer 1
That clears it up perfectly, thank you. :thankyou:

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Mon May 04, 2009 2:32 pm

A little off-topic.. Who uses FR most? Is it mainly just assigned by ISP's? Do any companies actually configure and use their own FR networks?
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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Mon May 04, 2009 3:05 pm

It's typically an ISP-hosted service. So a big company with many sites in diverse geographical areas can all have FR connections with that ISP to make a private WAN.

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Re: MPLS vs. Point to Point

Thu May 14, 2009 11:34 am

Point to point connections are more expensive when they span farther your region because you will be paying distance fees (i.e. Dallas to New York). MPLS on the other hand does not have those fees. But with both services, you will pay more if you local loop has allot of construction costs (i.e. the remote site is in the middle of nowhere).

Usually site for site, an MPLS connection costs as much as a dedicated internet line.

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