SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Courtney Abud

Blog Post

SD-WAN: Why Your MLPS Network Is About To Become Obsolete

Is MLPS Becoming Obsolete? SD-WAN May be the Culprit

About ten years ago, MPLS gained popularity due in part to its predictable delivery and minimal packet loss. Emerging technologies, such as Voice over IP (VoIP), depended on MPLS.

Many companies establish their networks with MPLS due to its scalability. For example, as a business expands, it becomes necessary to add more locations to the company’s network and MPLS makes that easy.

There aremany reasons to love MPLS, including:

MPLS emulates dedicated point-to-point links over a shared VPN cloud
The ability for Traffic Engineering
The ability to route traffic based on source
Overlapping VPNs
Quick Convergence improves traffic prioritization
Forwarding based on Labels enhances network performance

All these benefits are great but using MPLS to achieve them is outdated.

There’s a new game in town

Today, MPLS is more expensive than current solutions like Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).

SD-WAN has been disrupting the networking industry for a while and Gartner estimates spending on SD-WAN willrise to $1.3 billion by 2020.

SD-WAN makes your network easy

With SD-WAN, you can leverage all available network connections to full capacity. Backup connections often ignored in a traditional WAN environment can be fully utilized with SD-WAN.

Provisioning with SD-WAN

Provisioning a new branch office is fast, easy, and less expensive than MPLS. You don’t need to purchase additional lines to scale up with SD-WAN. In fact, scaling up with SD-WAN canreduce provisioning time by up to 80%, according to Gartner.

The downside to SD-WAN is that it uses public internet which creates unpredictable latency. So, companies often choose to maintain their MPLS in some regard to deal with this.

Security and SD-WAN

Security should always be your number one concern, and it’s understandable if you’re not sure about how secure SD-WAN is. It’s managed in the cloud, and the cloud can be a scary place for those who don’t understand how it works. The good news is that SD-WAN encrypts network traffic to protect sensitive data. You can alsosegment your traffic to limit any potential damage that may be caused by hacking attempts.

Some businesses have been clinging to MPLS and avoiding SD-WAN because they don’t want to deal with the extra security applications. Most edge SD-WAN solutions aren’t complete solutions, and require a handful of other applications to make it secure.

“Edge SD-WAN solutions enable the use of internet links for WAN transport and can provide direct internet access at the branch,”explains Cato Networks. “However, they do not include a full network security stack and require customers to either deploy additional security solutions at every location, backhaul traffic to a datacenter, or use cloud-based security services.”

This is frustrating and time consuming. To solve this problem, Cato innovated an SD-WAN as a service that comes with a full network security stack, including a next generation firewall, secure web gateway, anti-malware, and IPS built into the SLA-backed backbone.

This cutting-edge SD-WAN eliminates the need for branch security appliances, traffic backhaul, or additional security services. And it’s all managed from one management console. You can also ditch MPLS because Cato’s SD-WAN as a service provides an SLA-backed backbone with MPLS-like performance at Internet-like prices.

Less downtime

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits offered by SD-WAN is the elimination of unnecessary downtime due to configuration errors.

In the past, manual configurations were necessary to make certain changes to a network. This often resulted in configuration errors causing downtime that cost time and money. With SD-WAN, there’s no need to hire an on-premise technician just to make changes to your network. The configurations are much simpler and aren’t as easy to break.

Every technology is destined to become obsolete

If you’re attached to MPLS and aren’t sure you should make the move to SD-WAN, it’s understandable. However, don’t write it off before you’ve thoroughly researched what it can do for your network. No technology will remain the best forever.

More Stories By Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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