How can I make sure my VPN is encrypted and working properly?
By Rainer Enders, CTO of Americas for<a href="http://www.ncp-e.com/index.php?L=1"> NCP engineering</a>
The simplest way to do this is to act like a hacker. Snoop around the network traffic, either on the device itself or a port on the network. In the case of IPsec, for example, you would see encapsulating security payload (ESP) frames (Protocol 50). Yet, when you look inside the packet payload, you will only see garbled characters -- no clear text at all. Network snooping tools are easily available on the Internet and are simple to use. Of these, Wireshark is probably the most popular tool. You may find this resource on how to do penetration testing on your VPN useful.
Can I compare performance metrics of an MPLS VPN to another network?
This is a very complex question that is difficult to answer without knowing the specifics. Performance assessments can range in effort and complexity. It is ultimately important to understand the underlying requirements, which will determine the parameters that are relevant to performance. So, first you want to define “performance:” What are the relevant parameters, such as throughput, latency, packet loss and jitter? Once you measure the aforementioned metrics of your Layer 2 and Layer 3 MPLS VPN networks, you should be able to compare them evenly.