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About this guide

Ethernet is an increasingly important component of a service provider’s slate of service offerings. Many customers are requesting the ability to connect LAN locations around the world. To fulfill customer needs, service providers have had to set up complex point-to-point Layer 2 virtual private networks (VPNs) or connect expensive Layer 2 switches to handle traffic.

Virtual private LAN service (VPLS) meets the growing Ethernet needs of service providers and their customers. VPLS is an Ethernet-based multipoint-to-multipoint Layer 2 VPN. With VPLS, multiple Ethernet LAN sites can be connected to each other across an MPLS backbone. To the customer, all sites interconnected by VPLS appear to be on the same Ethernet LAN (even though traffic travels across a service provider network).