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Solution Brief: Optimizing Application Traffic on MPLS WAN Links
Businesses are switching to MPLS WAN links because they remove the cost, complexity and routing challenges associated with maintaining dozens or hundreds of point-to-point leased lines or IP VPNs over the Internet. Carriers offering MPLS benefit from economies of scale, peak load balancing between customers and higher service margins from "outsourced" network management - allowing them to compete efficiently with the do-it yourself, direct to the Internet networking alternative. However, the any-to-any automatic networking offered by MPLS, while having distinct advantages to traditional connectivity, presents new challenges that ripple through higher-order services that depend on the packet delivery infrastructure. These include the intersection of other key IT priorities - such as server consolidation, storage networking and use of real-time multimedia - with the distributed nature of MPLS. To compensate for these challenges, carriers often provide differentiated service levels, either by application/port or between two endpoints.