For two decades, MPLS has stood as the go-to solution for enterprises in need of stable connectivity. It relies on compact switching labels to relay payload to the next hop, as opposed to the layer 3 IP addressing used in common IP-routing protocol. MPLS providers currently serve a market worth in excess of $30billion – despite a lack of innovation in the area. But why?
Here are nine reasons why enterprises should reconsider MPLS and instead shift to a hybrid or internet-centric network, particularly to support the move to cloud and if they are considering solutions such as SD-WAN.
MPLS takes a long time to deploy
Implementations can sometimes be extremely complex. For example, MPLS services must be deployed to a single customer premises before it can be installed in the next. This creates substantial lag time before setting up the next branch.
Between MPLS or SD-WAN, the former is inarguably no longer cost competitive with the latter. And this isn’t even counting the additional costs (e.g. WAN optimisation hardware) associated with MPLS contracts.
It’s Ineffective for small or remote sites
Remote international sites may find MPLS is not available, or prohibitively expensive, which can be unacceptable in today’s digital landscape.
MPLS does not allow internet traffic to be routed locally
Packets in and out of the MPLS network are routed through the gateway, rather than locally. Even web and public cloud traffic have to go through expensive circuits, just to connect. It all adds up to more cost and a less efficient user experience.
Lower performance with MPLS
A single network connection and the inability to easily throttle low-priority traffic or use the fastest route (rather than the predetermined route) can all add up to a sub-par user experience.
There’s limited uptime
Not all MPLS providers offer a failover to a secondary internet connection if the primary connection is compromised – and almost none have a tertiary option. When moving to a secondary connection, the switch does not offer a seamless connection.
MPLS requires the same service provider across the network
It’s mandatory that the same MPLS service provider operates across all locations in your network. And switching provider is no easy task. In this context, MPLS severely limits your options for growth and relocation. It’s an all-or-nothing relationship with MPLS.
Security is a bigger issue with MPLS
MPLS lacks built-in data protection and can expose your network to vulnerabilities if it isn’t configured correctly. It can open you up to attack and isn’t as safe as some providers would have you believe.
MPLS has limited bandwidth and long lead times
Not only are bandwidth upgrades extremely costly, they aren’t always possible. Long installation and upgrade lead times also make MPLS restrictive and inefficient.
What’s the solution?
SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) gives the ability to intelligently control the traffic from one location to another and load-balance to the highest-performing available link, offering application surety. Improved SLAs, increased network visibility, end-to-end encryption across the network and internet. This is the future of networking and Expereo is delivering fully managed SD-WAN service to enterprises today.