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VPLS - Virtual Private LAN Service is a technology that creates secure tunnels through the internet to connect users and networks in different locations across the internet into a single Ethernet LAN. The technical description is that a VPLS allows for Ethernet based multi-point to multi-point communication over IP networks using packet-switching.
A VPLS uses VPN aka Virtual Private Networking technology to create the secure tunnel to connect each Local Area Network over the internet to the main network. The main network bridges the LANs so that all the networks appear to be on the same LAN. The whole point is to offer secure communication for members of a group or a company or a set of users, regardless of geographic location.
The VPLS moves each user's packet data across the internet, but through the secure tunnel. The data is not mixed up with other data that's moving around on the internet. Since the main provider network provides the emulation for all the LANs to be bridged, it appears as the user is simply sending data across an Ethernet LAN, and not over the internet.
Consider that a branch office needs to access the company's internal network and connect to the servers at the head office. Normally, that means the company would need to open up its network to the internet. But with VPN, a secure tunnel, which is as good as a separate wire laid out between the two locations, is created over the internet.
Only thing is that it is 'virtual' wire, and it doesn't have to be between just two points. It could just as well be between multiple LANs in different places that can communicate with each other as if they were on the same Ethernet LAN. The VPLS removes the geographic limitation, since a new tunnel can be created wherever the user is currently located.
The one thing that is required is that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on the network need to support VPN. Most ISPs do support it. But it's best to make note of it, because ISPs sometimes charge more for use of VPN.
But customers or companies who sign up with a VPLS - Virtual Private LAN Service won't generally need to worry about it. The provider will have made the necessary arrangements with the ISPs. As far as the customer is concerned, all their LANs scattered across the globe can be connected into a single high-speed Ethernet LAN. Making use of VPLS offers the same level of security and speed that is possible when users and LANs are actually in the same building and on the same LAN.
August 18, 2017, 1:02:00 pm, America/Chicago