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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 04, 2009

Network Management Solution Allows Total Scrutiny of MPLS VPN Functioning

By Vivek Naik, TMCnet Contributor

Packet Design recently introduced a network management product, called MPLS WAN Explorer (MWE), to assist companies in total scrutiny of their outsourced Multi-protocol Label Switching Virtual Private Networks (MPLS VPN’s). MWE keeps a close watch on the set up of MPLS VPN’s, and especially the data exchanges within, to determine if outsourced agencies are adhering to pre-requisites agreed to in contracts.
MWE provides network administrators the means to inspect contractually sacrosanct conditions such as hub-and-spoke and selective mesh deployments. Hub-and-spoke requires information to emanate and home back to one source only, without any lateral exchanges. This is similar to a fiber optic Christmas tree, which has a powerful single source LED and thousand of stranded fibers, each taking the light exclusively from the source to its point. Selective mesh networks require predetermined selective lateral data transfer.
With each and every transaction being checked out, and anomalies being highlighted, business critical decisions and deliveries can now take place smoothly, efficiently and securely. MWE is structured such that any new MPLS WPN addition can be accommodated within the same solution. This significantly lowers overheads, and coupled with early error intervention, makes it cost effective.
MWE delivery is made possible by its constant, detailed and global evaluation of Layer 2.5’s functioning. MPLS operates on Layer 2.5, which lies between the Data Link Layer, or Layer 2, and the Network Layer, or Layer 3, in the 7 layered Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Model.
MWE provides live action reports on different types of routing protocol exchanges such as Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol - (EIGRP) from Cisco (News - Alert), the dynamic Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), and the core Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). These exchanges are then compared with mutually accepted benchmarks, and digressions are suitably rectified.
It also classifies the types of service, the types of traffic, and areas of maximum traffic. The solution is an enhanced version of Packet Design’s Route Explorer and works seamlessly with Traffic Explorer.

Vivek Naik is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vivek's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi