What is a MPLS PWAN?
An MPLS PWAN is a managed private wide area network created on Giganet's resilient, scalable and carrier-grade MPLS-enabled Juniper MX and Cisco ASR network.
An MPLS is usually ideal for organisations that wish to securely connect upwards of half a dozen sites together without the overheads, complexity, lack of scale that traditional IPSec point-to-point full-mesh VPNs suffer from.
- Fully managed by Giganet
- Fully monitored by Giganet
- Managed QoS quality of service
- No overheads and loss of more MTU that IPSec VPNs can suffer from
- No instability of VPNs dropping out and failing to reconnect
- No complexity with pre-shared keys/certificates/algorithms/and other VPN configuration
- No requirement to have expensive hardware for each site that is capable of supporting high bandwidth IPSec VPNs
MPLS PWANs have traditionally been thought of as very expensive and the preserve of very large corporates. However with Giganet this is all changing. Giganet's MPLS PWAN solutions are suitable for all types of organisation, but we usually recommend them for customers with half a dozen or more sites. For organisations with fewer locations, the economies and benefits over an IPSec VPN, provided by equipment such as Cisco Meraki MX range of security appliances are not as great.
Giganet can put together fairly quickly a proposal for an MPLS, including access circuits, hardware, core network and central hosted firewalls with internet breakout upon request.
Types of access
An MPLS PWAN can be configured to operate over a variety of different access methods, such as:
- Mobile - 3G, 4G and eventually 5G
- Broadband - ADSL, FTTC, G.Fast, FTTP
- Leased lines - EoFTTC, EFM, fibre leased lines
This is particularly important for MPLS PWANs, as with large scale deployments, it's not usually the case that one technology would be available everywhere, and no every access method would be suitable if standardised.
For example, we can configured resilient RO2 leased lines for an HQ and regional offices, but for retail or high-street stores, we can provide broadband based services.
Types of carrier
Giganet connect to multiple broadband and leased line carriers to offer our customer the best choice at the best pricing no matter where they are. This is particularly important for MPLS PWANs, as with large scale deployments, it's not usually the case that one carrier will work out best for all sites. This is where Giganet's breadth of suppliers and carriers comes into play. We can work innovatively to devise a solution that will deliver the best connectivity for the requirement at each site no matter which carrier is involved.
Each of the carriers we have chosen to work with are fully supported on our MPLS PWAN service.
With the MPLS PWAN usually there is no direct Internet breakout/public IPs provided to each site location, instead the routing is private. There are two main options with Internet breakout from an MPLS PWAN.
- Central breakout
- Breakout from an HQ
We can't think of many reasons nowadays that option 2 would be better than option 1, unless of course there is a high requirement on compliance of there is a specific piece of hardware for the firewall/proxy/filtering that has to be retained at the HQ.
Central Internet Breakout + Hosted Firewall
The most common method for Internet breakout from an MPLS PWAN is with our hosted firewall solution. Depending on requirements this can be HA (high availability) within a single data centre, or across multiple data centres if no single point of failure is desired.
We can provide a range of hosted firewall options, ranging from your own existing preferred brand and model of hardware/VM/software, to Giganet's preferred options being Cisco Meraki, pfSense, Mikrotik or Juniper SRX and vSRX. The options reflect the differences in budgets, security requirements and complexity required.
Private Interconnects to DCs/AWS/Azure/Google
Giganet are able to offer direct and layer 2/3 access from an MPLS PWAN using Express Route (Azure), Direct Connect (AWS) or Direct Interconnects (Google Cloud) into your IaaS environment.
This can be expensive - not from Giganet's perspective - but the charges that the IaaS providers charge for this premium dedicated interconnect service.
Giganet can provide a complete service wrap for this private connectivity service if the maximum level of performance and security is required.
If you have you own data centre colocation facility already sorted, we can also provide dedicated, secure and private interconnects to this from the MPLS PWAN. So whether you data centre is in London, Slough, Manchester or Glasgow (to name a few), we can bring your remote IT infrastructure onto the MPLS PWAN resiliently if required.