The first MPLS network was deployed in 1999. It quickly became a common connection method for most businesses.
Although it’s better than a traditional internet connection, an MPLS has several disadvantages like high costs and complexity. Many companies are looking for a better long-term solution.
More and more businesses are adopting a new technology known as SD-WAN. These newer networks are easier to adopt, monitor, and program from a single location for workers around the world to access.
50% of businesses who plan to implement SD-WAN are concerned that they’re not familiar enough with the technology. A lack of knowledge may keep some businesses from getting the best network solutions.
Read our guide to MPLS vs. SD-WAN networks to understand the differences between them and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Before you can compare MPLS vs. SD-WAN networks, it’s important to understand what each one is and how they work.
Multi-Packet-Label-Switching or MPLS networks allow for faster and more secure connections. They predetermine the best route for data to travel along, preventing issues like slowdowns or video buffering.
MPLS networks assign 4-bit identifiers known as labels to each piece of data. The main router, known as an ingress or label edge router, decides the path the data travels to reach its destination address. The other label-switching routers perform packet forwarding along the way until the data reaches its destination and the ingress router removes its labels.
An MPLS network isn’t tied to a single piece of hardware. This allows users to transfer data over an IP, ethernet cable, or whatever other methods they’d like to use.
An MPLS network also provides a level of customisation. Not all data has the same priority level or needs the same amount of bandwidth, and users can determine how and where their data’s sent.
SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network. The name refers to its increased programmability.
An SD-WAN lets users program their network control. Robust software handles all the necessary functions which are controlled and monitored from a central location.
One thing that SD-WAN solutions have in common with MPLS networks is their ability to customise how and where data is sent. The newer networks do it better and faster, giving the user more control.
SD-WAN networks are ideal for businesses that have several remote employees or branches across the world. They allow for easy, reliable communication for everyone on the network regardless of their physical location.
SD-WAN doesn’t have to be the only network solution you utilise. It’s easy to add to the MPLS networks your business may already be using. It also allows you to switch between networks, going back and forth from an MPLS network and a traditional internet connection depending on the data you’re currently using.
Contact us directly with your SD-WAN questions today.
SD-WAN vs. MPLS
Comparing the pros and cons is a great way to ensure you get the best solution for your needs.
Benefits of an MPLS
The benefits of MPLS over traditional internet are undeniable. They provide a better experience by reducing congestion and increasing scalability and bandwidth utilisation.
The primary advantage MPLS networks have over SD-WAN alternatives is that they don’t use the public internet. This leads to fewer connection issues in real-time applications like video chats.
This small disadvantage shouldn’t deter you from considering the switch to SD-WAN, as the level of latency is still very low. Furthermore, SD-WAN networks have several benefits over the more traditional MLPS options.
Benefits of an SD-WAN
SD-WAN increases the visibility and scalability of a company’s network, allowing it to grow more easily. It also improves performance and control thanks to its ability to program and monitor an entire network from a single pane of glass.
The overall MPLS cost is usually higher than a standard internet connection.
With SD-WAN, users can customise each network link to get the most affordable options for their needs without paying extra fees or changing their infrastructure.
Other factors that affect MPLS cost include expensive contracts and idle backup links. SD-WAN can help avoid these issues and can be more efficient thanks to easy installations, lower hardware costs, and faster provisioning times.
MPLS security is nowhere near as robust as what’s offered with SD-WAN.
An MPLS doesn’t encrypt data, but it does provide a level of protection. Running as a private network set apart from the public internet protects means it’s not as vulnerable to issues like denial of service attacks. Most businesses running MPLS networks still require IT staff to prevent security issues.
SD-WAN encrypts the entire network at once, securing all communications. It also provides additional security benefits like scalable key-exchange and software-defined security.
SD-WAN is a new technology that hasn’t been widely adopted yet. Only 1-5% of enterprises have already employed it, but 73-93% plan to or are beginning to adopt it.
Why You Should Choose an SD-WAN
MPLS networks have been around for decades but, like any technology, there was always room for improvement.
SD-WAN provides lower costs, higher customisation, and better security. It’s the best option for companies with remote workers as it provides clear, speedy communication across the world.
Approximately 2/3 of organisations prefer using SD-WAN and you should consider installing one as well.
There are more than 30 SD-WAN vendors in the market today. This wide availability can make it difficult to choose the best one.
If you’re not sure which is the best option for you, contact one of our helpful team members to discuss how it can benefit your business today.