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Thinking about moving to MPLS? Here are five considerations.

1. Cost savings. Depending on the specific mix of applications, and network configuration, MPLS-based services can reduce costs by 10% to 25% over comparable data services (frame relay and ATM). As companies add voice and video traffic, cost savings can rise to as much as 40% networkwide.

2. QOS enablement. One of the primary benefits of MPLS-based services is the ability to support QoS, particularly key for companies that are rolling out voice and video.

3. Improved performance. Because of the any-to-any nature of MPLS services, network designers can reduce the number of “hops” between network points, which translates directly to increased response time and improved application performance.

4. Disaster recovery. MPLS-based services improve disaster recovery in a variety of ways. First and foremost, data centers and other key sites can be connected in multiply redundant ways to the cloud (and thus to other sites on the network). Secondly, remote sites can quickly and easily reconnect to backup locations if needed (unlike with ATM and frame networks, in which either switched or backup permanent-virtual-circuits are required). That’s why several benchmark participants listed “flexibility for business recovery” as a key justifier behind their MPLS rollouts.

5. Futureproofing the network. Most companies have come to the conclusion that MPLS represents “the wave of the future.” Investment in legacy WAN services (ATM, frame) has pretty much come to a standstill: Virtually no companies plan to invest in ATM or frame services within the next six to 12 months. As a result, companies increasingly say they’re planning to migrate to MPLS primarily to avoid being left behind.