MPLS is a protocol designed to ensure that packets of application data travel across the network by the most efficient route and are joined together as quickly as possible at the other end, adhering to strictly set QoS parameters.
The growth of MPLS is being driven by a number of big users who require control over the performance of their networks.
A recent new MPLS user is the Scottish Prison Service, which has implemented a highly scalable MPLS network with secure virtual private networking to address bandwidth fluctuations.
The prison service brought in network provider Thus to complete the upgrade, which covers the service's Edinburgh headquarters, 15 prisons, the organisation's central store facility and a college.
As well as accommodating network scalability, MPLS allows organisations to ensure that the most important users on the network get the bandwidth they need to complete mission-critical tasks.
Gavin Syme, Scottish Prison Service information support systems technical manager, said the new network allows the prison service to change bandwidth as required, as well as providing enhanced network management information to enable it to handle data flows more effectively.
Each prison and facility is linked via a 2mbps connection, with a 45mbps connection operated at headquarters. The network provides basic internet connectivity and supports all applications hosted at headquarters, including e-mail and business processing applications.