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Choosing an MPLS Replacement When Costs Demand an Alternative

BY futurefirewall

Cost and increasing traffic are causing enterprises to look for an MPLS replacement for networking.The expanding amount of data that every organization transmits is creating new struggles for network management. Ultimately, enterprises need a way for costly multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) connections to be dedicated to the types of transmissions that require it. Enterprises need an MPLS alternative that will allow the cost-effective, free flow of data transmission.

MPLS lines are valued for their reliability and security. As a privately-managed backbone featuring built-in Quality of Service (QoS), there’s little packet loss and low latency with MPLS. The problem is that with more and more data flowing from multiple devices, enterprises are becoming much more aware of the cost of that reliability. Not only is MPLS costly, but it is also not known for agility. Bringing a new branch location on the network can take weeks.

Pathway optimization: Many enterprises are choosing software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to create an MPLS replacement. The solution introduces a virtual overlay that is separate from the physical network, allowing administrators the ability to determine which types of data transmissions are worthy of the cost of MPLS. Other transmissions can be routed to different pathways, including the public internet.

This means that high-priority traffic such as voice calls or video conferencing can be transmitted over MPLS lines to prevent latency, jitter or dropped packets. Less-critical data can be directed to public internet or other pathways that are not as costly as MPLS.

Quick configuration for branches: Another benefit of SD-WAN is that new branch locations can be quickly configured and brought online. Because the administrators access network configuration in one central location, there’s no need to travel to the branch for setup, maintenance or troubleshooting.

Cost reduction: In addition to being able to optimize the types of traffic that utilize MPLS, there are cost benefits to SD-WAN. Paying a monthly subscription fee means enterprises pay only for the number of users they need, and those costs can be classified as operating expenses. There’s also little to no investment in hardware when implementing SD-WAN.

Security: It’s no longer possible for enterprises to put a secure firewall around the network and watch for possible intruders. The option to segment out network traffic can be an effective way to isolate a potential threat and prevent it from infiltrating the entire network. Network administrators also have a higher level of visibility that makes it possible to identify threats before they impact the network.

With more pathways to connect with the internet, SD-WAN does present some vulnerabilities even as a reliable MPLS replacement. Many enterprises address this through the use of firewalls and cloud managed security services.

SD-WAN offers an MPLS replacement that still capitalizes on the benefits of MPLS while providing lower-cost alternatives for non-mission critical data transmissions. It also is an excellent option for VPN replacement. To learn more about the ways in which SD-WAN can benefit an organization that struggles with its MPLS budget, contact us at SimpleWAN.

Check out our guide to SD-WAN 2.0, the ultimate MPLS replacement on the market to learn more about how SD-WAN 2.0 is revolutionizing the way businesses work.