MPLS is a networking technology that uses “labels” rather than network addresses to determine the quickest path for traffic while SD-WAN is a wide area network that uses software-defined network technology. Enterprise MPLS networking is being disrupted by the rise of SD-WAN. In this blog, we will discuss the reasons why enterprises choose SD-WAN as an MPLS replacement.
Data routing on any network is similar to shipping a package. Data packets are forwarded from one router to the next until they eventually reach their destination. MPLS, or Multiprotocol Label Switching, makes this process faster by establishing pre-determined, highly efficient routes. Each router in the network has a table indicating how to handle specific packets. For example, real time voice and video packets can be assigned to low latency routes.
On the other hand, Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN), is a virtual network architecture with a centralized control system. SD-WAN essentially decouples the networking infrastructure from network functions. Instead of routers, a central software system, intelligently directs traffic throughout the network.
While both, MPLS and SD-WAN have their unique benefits depending on enterprise budget and requirement, more and more organizations are making the shift towards SD-WAN. This is mainly because SD-WAN is a cloud-based technology which offers advanced features such as bandwidth efficiency, a seamless on-ramp to the cloud and significant critical application performance. Enterprises are looking to replace MPLS with SD-WAN to improve resource utilization and add to profit margins.
Here are eight reasons why your organization should transition from MPLS to SD-WAN today!.
SD-WAN has a highly visible impact on the entire enterprise’s network performance. It can utilize your existing infrastructure to improve performance and increase efficiency without any elaborate cost investments. SD-WAN performance benefits include:
MPLS requires substantial, high bandwidth to work efficiently. This makes it an expensive proposition, especially for smaller enterprises. Organizations have to choose between exorbitant monthly costs or deal with intermittent bandwidth issues. SD-WAN, on the other hand, allows you to combine different, high and low bandwidth connections, giving pricing flexibility without bandwidth problems.
The SD-WAN network grows with your organization. It can become a challenge for an enterprise, especially those with less number of branch offices to justify the expense of a virtual network via an MPLS connection. SD-WAN, on the other hand, provides all businesses with the flexibility to scale across physical borders and establish their presence at a much lower cost.
Unlike MPLS, SD-WAN is service provider agnostic. This can be particularly helpful if your business requires connectivity at locations that are remote or not serviced by your specific MPLS vendor. An enterprise that has transitioned to SD-WAN need not settle for the average performance of a new MPLS service provider for such locations or pay an exorbitant price for high performance.
Unlike MPLS, SD-WAN allows the configuration of multiple “network tunnels” at different priority levels or SLAs (service level agreements). This gives improved Quality of Service at the Application level. SD-WAN can tie underlying network connections with business logic, allowing application level traffic routing. Low priority applications are transmitted over less expensive infrastructure compared to high priority applications. Application availability increases as traffic is no longer mapped to one WAN service.
SD-WAN gives high network visibility to administrators. This allows organizations to:
Therefore, a well implemented SD-WAN setup is more like an organization-wide security plan with maximum access and flexibility.
As organizations adopt digital transformation initiatives including cloud strategies, they require network infrastructure that can complement this growth and development. MPLS was invented before cloud technologies were developed and does not support cloud networking intrinsically. For example, in an MPLS setup, access to the cloud is via the data center. On the other hand,
SD-WAN supports cloud technologies by:
While the above reasons are compelling enough, the biggest motivation for enterprises to move from a pure MPLS environment to SD-WAN is the cost-efficiency. SD-WAN offers attractive operational and technological cost savings. It is a flexible and scalable, pay-as-you-go service model that significantly reduces per-megabyte cost of any enterprise networking operations.
Both MPLS and SD-WAN come with unique attributes. Read our in-depth SD-WAN vs. MPLS comparison. Here is the brief summary of the comparison.
Whether your enterprise is established or just starting out, SD-WAN is geared to supporting your business needs no matter where you are. Cost savings and security are offered in abundance, along with a granular quality of service. IT teams will need to take into account the entirety of their network infrastructure before committing to transition to SD-WAN. We’re here to help! Please fill out the form and one of our specialists will reach out to you right away. Keep in mind that there is NO fee for our services since the carriers pay us a commission to help you.
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