MPLS is a protocol designed to streamline the Internet and other large networks. Typically, MPLS only resides in Service Provider and carrier networks; it does not have much use within enterprise, academic, government or other private networks. MPLS provides tools to simplify, optimize and add services to the current Internet infrastructure. Each of these three benefits is briefly discussed below. This brief overview of MPLS provides a baseline from which VPNs can be effectively discussed. Note: The primary focus of this paper will be MPLS VPNs; this is not an MPLS tutorial.

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