Top 10 Things you Should Know About SD-WAN


Can SD-WAN replace MPLS?

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks are typically private lines provided by a service provider to connect multiple locations for a business over a dedicated, reliable, and private wide area network (WAN).  While MPLS is dedicated and reliable, it is often more expensive and less performant than a business Internet circuit.  Business Internet has become a popular WAN circuit as it is generally an order of magnitude higher in performance while being a fraction of the cost and nearly as reliable as MPLS.

Can software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) help you replace MPLS?  Potentially yes!  Many businesses already have a substantial investment in MPLS and enjoy its reliability.  However, performance is often a limiting factor with MPLS, and legacy WAN routers have a difficult time providing load-balancing and high availability over both Business Internet and MPLS in the same location.

Most businesses will migrate from traditional WAN to SD-WAN to better support load-balancing and high availability in the branch using Business Internet alongside MPLS.  This helps speed up adoption of cloud applications (like Office 365, Salesforce) while also adding bandwidth to the remote location.  Since SD-WAN automatically establishes secure VPN tunnels between sites, many businesses have decreased their investment in MPLS to reduce cost, and some have even migrated away from MPLS completely.

In short, SD-WAN gives you an opportunity to have WAN circuit flexibility in the remote office and the ability to choose the right circuits with the right price and performance metrics based on the needs of each location.

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