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Traditional MPLS networks#

If an existing legacy MPLS network is in place, or if organisations are merging and require the joining of networks together, where at least one is an MPLS, then the INF can be used to either augment, connect them together, or do both.

Using MPLS as transport underlay#

The Intelligent Network Fabric can use MPLS links as a network underlay, and so create a new hypernet above the existing MPLS network. This can be used to gain the additional features of complex network presentation, QoS, encryption, bandwidth augmentation and resilience (the latter two by adding additional non-MPLS links).

As well as gaining the additional network and security feature stack, this technique could be deployed in order to smooth the transition to MPLS to a new overlay-based modern WAN.

Once MPLS links are out of contract, they can be cancelled if other links have already been established.

This helps with the issue of double paying for two networks. Not all new links need be installed on day 1 of the project, and only need completing while old links are being decomissioned.

Connecting an Evolving Networks WAN to an MPLS network#

Software-defined interconnects can be created to MPLS networks, in much the same way as other service edge connectivity (internet, cloud etc).

Choosing bandwidth, resilience, security options, transit hubs can be chosen in the network backbone (or from one particular site if desirible) so that all or a subset of of sites have access to the MPLS network.

Options to connect include:

  • Physically hosting EVX appliances in the MPLS datacentre
  • Virtually hosting EVX appliances in the MPLS datacentre
  • Using IPsec, wireguard etc to connect to an existing firewall or router cluster in the MPLS network
  • Dedicated interconnects and peering with the MPLS network hub

Emulating MPLS#

MPLS can also be run on the hypernets created themselves, effectively adding an additional overlay on top if that's required to interoperate with a legacy network using MPLS.

Last update: February 9, 2023