There are two parts to the topic at hand – MPLS and VPN. It would be worthwhile to examine both of them separately.
• MPLS is Multi Protocol Label Switching which is one of the ways in which telecom networks move data around but its characteristic feature is that it works on using short path labels over the conventional long network addresses. This means a vastly simpler routing path.
• VPN is Virtual Private Network which puts a private network in a public network and allows the owner of a VPN to use the resources of public networks almost as if it were a private one. Thus the use of the term “virtual” to denote this particular type of network.
This leads one to the term MPLS VPN which simply means that a Virtual Private Network can be created using all the technology and protocols of MPLS. Here are a few more things that can make this concept a little clearer. (more…)