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MPLS Private Networks vs. VPN
The following case study shows how Innovative Computer Systems helped their new Urology Practice client lower their technology expenses. As a result, they saved over 250 thousand dollars per year.
Overview – Practice’s MPLS Private Network
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) private networks, when properly used, are powerful tools to increase business efficiency. However, MPLS networks are more common in large enterprise deployments. For example, in the retail sector, it is not uncommon to see MPLS deployments of 2,000 to 5,000 locations to communicate transactions to a headquarters data center.
In practice, MPLS is mainly used to forward IP datagrams and Ethernet traffic. Major applications of MPLS are telecommunications traffic engineering and MPLS VPN.
In design, and as installed, the Practice’s Private Network was anticipated to look like:
What is disingenuous about the above is that the Practice has only nine offices and 6 of those rooms have 10 or fewer users. More importantly, the majority of users communicate to a Texas-based hosting site over slow Terminal Server connection.
From a Cost Perspective Here’s What We Found
Monthly Recurring Practice MPLS Private Network Cost
MPLS T1s/DSL/ISP Network $20,419
Practice Network Equipment Lease (36 months) $4,300
Practice Network Equipment Maintenance $ 2,061
Total Recurring Monthly Private Network Cost: $26,780
Overview – Alternative VPN Network
Until the end of the 1990s the computers, in computer networks, connected through very expensive leased lines and dial‐up phone lines. It could cost thousands of dollars for 56kbps lines or tens of thousands for T1 lines, depending on the distance between the sites.
Today, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) using Broadband technology can reduce network costs drastically because they avoid a need for many leased lines that individually connect to the Internet. Users can exchange private data securely (HIIPA Compliant), making the expensive leased lines redundant. Recently, Cable and Verizon FiOS ISP providers have increased bandwidth from three (5.0 Mbps) to more than twenty-three (35 Mbps) times the capacity of a T1 (1.5Mbps) at a fraction of the cost per Mbps.
This practice required a secure and economic HIPAA-compliant network.
When it comes to architecting their WAN, SMBs face the same challenge as their larger counterparts: optimal service and bandwidth to support application requirements while minimizing costs.
SMB WAN requirements vary, from a small office needing nothing more than Internet connectivity for email and Web access to a centrally located and more diversified location that routinely moves large amounts of data between locations.
As previously noted, more major organizations concerns require all components of a highly configurable three‐tier network architecture model that defines sites by bandwidth and resiliency requirements: Tier‐1 sites (data centers) typically require high bandwidth, high availability, and low latency between two or more locations. Tier‐2 sites (distributed offices) require a high level of resiliency but less bandwidth than Tier 1 sites. Latency requirements may also vary by application. Tier‐3 sites (remote offices) require minimal resiliency and less bandwidth than Tier‐2 locations. As with Tier‐2 sites, latency requirements vary by application. Clearly, a Private MPLS Network engineered with very high-end equipment is not only recommended but required. This was never the case for the Practice, and the following will detail what the Practice VPN Network should be and the financial loss this technology overkill caused.
In design the Practice VPN Network would look like:
Monthly Recurring Practice VPN Network Cost
ISP Network $3,824
VPN Network Equipment Amortization (36 months) $588
VPN Network Equipment Maintenance $133
Total Recurring Monthly VPN Network Cost $4,545
About Innovative Computer Systems
Innovative Computer Systems is a Managed Services Provider specializing in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) and Corporate Business Technology. We work closely with our clients to understand their daily workflow requirements. Some of our clients include leaders in Ophthalmology, Facility Maintenance, Pediatrics, Law, Urology, Dermatology, Commercial Real Estate, Internal Medicine and Ambulatory Surgery.