MPLS, also known as Multiprotocol Label Switching, is a protocol for efficient network traffic flow that happens between two or more locations. But within some time came SD-WAN also called as software-defined wide-area networking, along with SDN to provide the benefits of networking that was more hard-ware based.
MPLS is a way to ensure reliable connections for real-time applications, but as it seemed a little more expensive, leading companies therefore switched to consider SD-WAN as a way to limit its use.
Multiprotocol Label Switching
So for a start, MPLS, as earlier mentioned, is a protocol for efficient network traffic flow, which works in a similar way as switches and routers. Technically it is considered to be layer 2.5 in which Packet-forwarding technology is used to make data forwarding decisions.
In simpler form, companies with different branches use MPLS for secure connectivity of various branches to the head branch, which is provided by the service provider for better reach according to availability of the internet.
Challenges faced with MPLS:
• Insufficient bandwidth: The organizations using MPLS for connectivity face the problem of insufficient bandwidth. This means the amount of bandwidth allocated with MPLS can’t be utilized fully. A lot of bandwidth remains unusable throughout the time period.
• Limited Scale: The second challenge faced by the MPLS users is that if the user wants the MPLS connectivity for the new branch, they need to place the order to the service provider almost before 2-3 months for connectivity. This makes it a lot of time-consuming process for the users.
• Extra expenses: If the users want the MPLS connectivity, they need to install the equipment at both places, new centre as well as the head offices that can be heavy on the organization’s pocket.
• Complex connectivity: Network engineer say that there are certain issues they face while building or installing the MPLS connections.
With these common challenges, MPLS proved to be much more complex for the organizations, which are not the same with SD-WAN.
On the other hand, SDN and SD-WAN both share similarities in the separation of the control and data plans allow both to run on commodity x86 and x64 hardware, and can be virtualized.
But the major difference is between SDN and SD-WAN where SDN only focuses internally within the LAN or the core network of a particular service provider. At the same time, SD-WAN provides software-defined application routing to wide-area networking along with connecting the organization’s various networks.
Now that you know what these terms mean and what all it does, you will easily be able to understand the difference. First, we will start with the difference between MPLS and SDN.
Difference between MPLS and SDN
Choosing the right software is essential for any organization as it can completely make or break the task and working of the system. Whether to choose MPLS or SDN for an organization can only be figured out if you know what it does and what all it doesn’t. So here are the few advantages of both:
While SDN can offer cost reduction, overhead reduction, physical as well as virtual network management, a good amount of reduction in downtime, also works as a central network management tool along with centralized control, while MPLS does not.
These might not be MPLS business advantages, but it requires one carrier circuit that can support MPLS, Internet, and SIP.
Domestic MPLS takes around 30 days to get installed. While SDN allows Network bandwidth cost to be reduced by almost 50% as it will enable the purchasing of cheap bandwidth such as any broadband, DSL, or both that minimizes a lot of costs.
Now that you know the difference between MPLS and SDN, it is quite clear to us that due to a reduction in cost, companies and organizations can switch to SDN or SD-WAN from MPLS software for good. It is thus resulting in the replacement of MPLS to SDN or SD-WAN.
So here are a few things you should know more about SD-WAN as compared to MPLS:
• We can easily connect our remote locations through SD-WAN.
• Quick and advanced ways to connect various locations making it less time consuming than MPLS.
• Whether it is a Broadband or 4G connection, SD-WAN can aggregate through the single seamless connection that eventually provides greater control.
• SD-WAN provides Multi-tenancy support, scalability, and Cloud-based applications.
• This is one of the fastest and stable solutions to all the network issues that organizations faced with MPLS.
• It is cheaper to implement as compared to device costs that came with MPLS implementation.
• Although there are no SLA guarantees but it has provided many benefits to the organization once installed appropriately by the proficient Network Engineer.
With all the information internet has about MPLS, WAN, and SD-WAN, we can conclude moving from MPLS towards SD-WAN is possible only if we have a Network Engineer with a complete profound Knowledge about SD-WAN.
As times have changed and most of the organizations that traditionally connected back to the corporate data centre to access business applications are now accessing those same applications in the Cloud. And so the traditional WAN is no longer suitable because of various reasons. Also, as SD-WAN provides WAN simplification, lower costs, bandwidth efficiency, and a seamless on-ramp to the Cloud with significant application performance, especially for critical applications, without sacrificing security and data privacy organizations find it affordable to switch to SD-WAN. So this makes SD-WAN much better for the overall performance of any organization as compared to MPLS.