A Survey of Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS)

Virtual Private LAN services (VPLS) is a Layer 2 Virtual Private Network (L2VPN) service that has gained immense popularity due to a number of its features, such as protocol independence, multipoint-to-multipoint mesh connectivity, robust security, low operational cost (in terms of optimal resource utilization), and high scalability. In addition to the traditional VPLS architectures, novel VPLS solutions have been designed leveraging new emerging paradigms, such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), to keep up with the increasing demand. These emerging solutions help in enhancing scalability, strengthening security, and optimizing resource utilization. This paper aims to conduct an in-depth survey of various VPLS architectures and highlight different characteristics through insightful comparisons. Moreover, the article discusses numerous technical aspects such as security, scalability, compatibility, tunnel management, operational issues, and complexity, along with the lessons learned. Finally, the paper outlines future research directions related to VPLS. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to furnish a detailed survey of VPLS.