What are the differences between MPLS carriers?

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First, remember that MPLS is a protocol that carriers may implement in different fashions.  There are many differences among the carriers that provide MPLS networks.  Some are subtle and some are dramatic…but you may never learn some of the real differences.

Unless you use the SD-WAN-Experts to manage your procurement and implementation process, some factors to consider when evaluating carriers are:

1. Service Level Agreements: what are the SLAs for packet loss, latency and jitter?  What exactly do the SLAs specify?  You often cannot easily compare SLAs from varied carriers.

2. What is their implementation of MPLS?  Is QoS implemented at your on-site CPE or at the carrier POP?  How many Classes of Service are offered?

3. What online management tools are available for your use?  Can you change port speeds or adjust COS on your own?

4. What is the pricing?  Loop prices for the same locations will be different for varied carriers, so you will need to price out all the options and compare.

5. What are the charges for CPE management, if any?

6. Can they run MPLS over DSL for smaller locations? (If that is important to you)

7. What NNI relationships exist, should you need service in a variety of countries.

8. What is their network utilization?  When do they add capacity to their network paths?

9. What reroute paths are available if they have a failure in their core network?  What is the effect on latency?

This list is just a start.  But why not ask us to manage this whole process for you?

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