Quotation Format

By Mike Lee,2014-05-14 11:07
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Quotation Format

    Infinitum Plus IP/MPLS VPN FAQ’s

    MPLSNetwork layout








    10 G meshed network.

    KHPP/PE nodeLZ

1. What is MPLS?

MPLS stands for Multiprotocol Label Switching and it is a technology which uses

    labels, which are attached to the traffic packets traversing the network, to forward

    the traffic to the right destinations. MPLS is used in Next Generation Networks (NGN)

    which can transport Voice, Video and Data on one physical Network; An NGN is also

    called a “converged network”. MPLS provides management tools like “Quality of

    Service” and “Traffic Engineering”. Next Generation Networks are deployed all over

    the world and Telecom Namibia has invested heavily into this new countrywide

    carrier grade network to cater for the future telecommunication needs of this

    country. MPLS technology enables Telecom Namibia to offer sophisticated VPN

    services to the Namibian business.

    2. What is a VPN?

    The term VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a private network that uses a public infrastructure (in this case the TN

    national backbone) to connect remote sites or users to a private company network.

    Instead of using a dedicated connection such as leased line, a VPN uses "virtual"

    connections routed over the TN backbone from the company’s private network to

    the remote site or employee.

    Typically, the business would use a VPN for its national and international WAN


    Some links for further reading:

3. What are the different VPN services that Telecom Namibia can offer?

Telecom Namibia offers VPNs with different flavors:

    a. VPN without Quality of Service This is the standard VPN. All traffic in this VPN is treated equally, there is no

    prioritization of certain traffic types. The standard VPN traffic class is the standard


    b. VPN with Quality of Service for data traffic only This VPN has the advantage that the certain data traffic in times of congestion on

    the link will be treated preferentially to other traffic. This feature will be particularly

    important to businesses which have business critical traffic traversing their VPN,

    traffic that belongs to services, which are supporting the core function of the

    business. The Quality of Service mechanisms will ensure that this traffic will get to

    its destination with the least possible delay and will not be dropped.

    Four types of Quality of Service classes are available for data traffic:

    ? Multimedia

    ? Business Critical

    ? Preferred

    ? Standard

The customer will choose a QoS profile, which segments his bandwidth on a

    percentage basis into all or a choice of these classes.

    A number of pre-defined profiles have been developed, which will suite most

    business needs.

    c. VPN with Quality of Service for data and voice traffic The Voice VPN Quality of Service class, which is available within this VPN service,

    ensures low delay (<150 ms one way) and jitter (<30 ms) and is therefore used to

    transport real time traffic. Real time traffic is typically traffic containing voice and

    video. This service offers five Quality of Service classes to choose from:

    ? Voice

    ? Multimedia

    ? Business Critical

    ? Preferred

    ? Standard

The customer will choose a QoS profile, which segments his bandwidth on a

    percentage basis into all or a choice of these classes.

    A number of pre-defined profiles have been developed, which will suite most

    business needs.

    d. Remote access and dial-in for Corporate VPN Customers who need to access the Corporate Network from sites other than

    Regional offices or branches will require the “Remote access and dial-in for

    Corporate VPN” service. Customer might be working from home or while on the

    road and this service allows his/her access to their Corporate Network.

    4. What does Quality of Service mean in a VPN context?

“Quality of a Service” is a name for several different mechanisms which guarantee

    the customer that his/her services delivered over the network works properly. In

    networking terms it means that during times of congestion (bandwidth is used up to

    the maximum) special queuing and bandwidth reservation mechanism are used

    which ensure that specially marked traffic / data packets will not be dropped and will

    arrive at their destination without delay or jitter.

    Delay is the combination of latency and serialization, which is experienced when

    traffic is send from node to node through the network.

Jitter describes inter-packet delay and is a phenomenon of packets arriving at their

    destination with different delay times. Real time traffic, like voice and video, are

    delay and jitter sensitive. These packets containing the data must arrive in regular

    intervals (Jitter less than 30 ms); in the correct sequence and without more than

    150 ms delay, otherwise the Quality of the Service is degraded. Dropped packets

    and delay or jitter outside the tolerable limits would lead to the service which is

    sending/receiving this particular traffic, not working properly.

The customer of an IP/MPLS VPN will have different Quality of Service classes to

    choose from:

    ? Voice for voice traffic Multimedia for video and IP-TV traffic

    ? Business Critical for application (SAP or other ERP systems, Database

    connect, Telnet, SSH traffic)

    ? Preferred for http or https, snmp traffic

    ? Standard (default) Class for traffic, which can be delivered on best effort

    principles like ftp, smtp

Not all classes are applicable to each service, see question 3 for more detail.

In times of congestion on the link the traffic will be dealt with differently based on

    which class of service the traffic is using. The traffic flowing in the Voice Class will

    have the highest priority and on the opposite end of the scale, the Standard Class

    will experience the highest delay, jitter and packet loss during times of congestion.

    TN has adopted a policy of non-oversubscription and takes great care to ensure that

    each Quality of Service Class will perform according to SLA stipulations.

5. What does it mean when the service is “without Quality of Service”?

A VPN without “Quality of Service” means that none of the mechanisms, normally

    deployed during times of bandwidth congestions will be used to ensure, that certain

    traffic types are treated with higher priority. Should there be congestions

    experienced in a VPN all traffic in this VPN will be treated equally, which means that

    delay, jitter and packet loss might occur to all types of traffic equally.

6. How secure is a VPN?

All Corporate sites connected to the VPN belonging to one customer are configured

    to be in one VRF. A VRF is a Virtual Routing and Forwarding instance. It determines

    the MPLS label, which is inserted into each data packet. The data packet is then

    forwarded based on that label. Routing tables for each customer are also

    exchanged in each VRF.

    Based on this principle, traffic is separated and secured by the use of the MPLS

    labels and separate VRF instances for each customer

    All VPN equipment, including the router at the customer site, is managed by

    Telecom Namibia, which ensures, that no unauthorized tempering can take place.

7. How can I add security if I want to?

A VPN can be further secured using IPSec. IPSec is an open encryption standard

    and can be used between routers, PC’s, Servers and Firewalls. IPSec is protocol

    independent and must be configured on the equipment itself.

    The “Remote access and dial-in for corporate VPN” will be secured using PPPoE

    (Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet), which enforces Authentication via specialized

    equipment in the network. Username and password are required for these


8. Where can I use this service?

IP/MPLS VPN’s can be used everywhere in Namibia. Telecom Namibia has roll-out

    IP/MPLs countrywide with Points of Presents (PoP’s) in all major centers throughout


    The customers will be connected to the IP/MPLS VPN cloud via theses PoP’s with an access technology suitable to their business. This technology can be Leased line, MetroNET, Co-location, ADSL and WiMAX. Availability of the IP/MPLS VPN is lastly dependent on the availability of the desired access technology for a particular VPN connection site.

    VPN with quality of Service requirements can use Leased Line, metroNET, Co-location and direct access to connect to the MPLS backbone. ADSL and WiMAX, being a service based on best effort traffic delivery, cannot be used when QoS is required.

9. What bandwidth can I choose?

    IP/MPLS VPN bandwidth (data transfer speed) per connection ranges from 64 kbps to 100 Mbps. A typical speed to start with would be 128 kbps or 256 kbps. Access equipment can be configured remotely and access technology as well as bandwidth will be depending on the particular customer requirements.

    10. Do I need routers?

    Yes, each VPN link must be connected via a router. The Telecom Namibia VPN service includes a router suitable to the access technology chosen. The router will be configured and fully managed by Telecom Namibia. The customer can request SNMP (simple network management protocol) read access to the router for Network Monitoring purposes.

11. Why do I need IP/MPLS VPN links for my business?

If you have two or more business sites countrywide then IP/MPLS VPN Services are

    a consideration to be explored. IP/MPLS VPN is the most cost effective WAN

    solution for any corporate business or organization or Government institution. In

    addition to the wide range of access technology and bandwidth choices, the IP/MPLS

    VPN will offer different Quality of Service flavors, which will be customize to every

    individual business needs.

    12. What are the business benefits? Why should I consider using it?

    ? Pricing of links is based on bandwidth and access technology only. No

    distance charges are applied.

    ? Economic scalability- Customised and highly scalable business solutions to fit

    the customer’s budget, business size and requirements, based on a range of

    access technology choices and bandwidth availabilities.

    ? Add more sites as your business grows

    ? Use the benefits of “Quality of Service” technology

    ? Links are managed and monitored by Telecom Namibia, customers can view

    SLA parameters of their service via a web portal.

    13. How is the IP/MPLS VPN different from the current WAN network

    technologies e.g. digicon or IP VPN?

    ? Digicon connections are based on the SDH network and no QoS can be used

    to govern the traffic on the links. Digicon links typically only reach bandwidth

    maximums of 2 Mbps. Digicon link pricing is based on distance and digicon

    infrastructures can be very costly. Traffic on a digicon infrastructure is bound

    to the actual links. In contrast, the IP/MPLS VPN will switch traffic within the

    VPN cloud to use the most direct path. It is therefore bandwidth preserving.

    ? The IP VPN service, even though considered a VPN, is using tunneling

    technologies and not MPLS as its underlying technology. Tunneling has the

    implication of rather high overheads for encapsulation and encryption, which

    increases the traffic load on the tunnel.

    ? MPLS technology offers the more advanced traffic management options like

    Quality of Service and Traffic Engineering. It further is a faster and more

    efficient traffic forwarding technology compared with traditional tunneling and

    overlay VPN topologies.

    14. How and where to apply for this service?

This service is usually sold as a complete solution, designed to fit a certain business

    with its unique requirements. The customer would typically contact his/her CRM or

    an ICT Network Consultant for an appointment to establish this design process and

    collect all relevant information.

An application form, forms regarding site and network technical information, legal

    terms and conditions, a complete quote, a detailed solution proposal and a generic

    service description form part of a contract, which the customer and Telecom

    Namibia enter into.

    15. What happens if the customer service is faulty?

If the service is out of order, normal fault reporting procedures will follow. The

    customer will call 1177 and report the fault. The network monitoring department at

    Telecom Namibia will always initiate corrective action, should a fault be detected on

    the network, even before the customer is aware of the problem.

    16. What are the limitations on this service?

This service offering is limited to the boundaries of Namibia, nationally. International

    private links and international bandwidth (internet access) are handled differently.

    17. Is the service available countrywide? Yes

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