Which WAN Service is Right for Your Organization? MPLS, SD-WAN… or Both?

When you’re optimizing your WAN, choosing between SD-WAN and MPLS can be a challenge. The choice involves weighing the pros and cons of each network technology and then applying them to your business needs.

MPLS Pros & Cons
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) provides a high Quality of Service (QoS) by managing and avoiding packet loss. This is good for real-time applications like VoIP, video conferencing, and virtual desktops.

The disadvantages of MPLS are that it can be complex to deploy and often comes with a higher cost for bandwidth, extra costs for security, and hidden costs for hardware reconfigurations whenever connections have to be added or changed.

SD-WAN Pros & Cons
Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) offer global availability, visibility, scalability, control, and performance. It’s easy and quick to implement, and bandwidth can be added or reduced as necessary without requiring infrastructure changes. With SD-WAN, you also get end-to-end encryption across the entire network – including the Internet and the Cloud.

On the other hand, the reliability of SD-WAN doesn’t quite match that of MPLS. With SD-WAN, Internet uplinks can occasionally fail. And while SD-WANs make it easier to connect to the Cloud, there is still the possibility of packet loss once your traffic arrives.

Making the Best Choice for Your Business
For businesses that rely on Cloud applications, SD-WAN offers direct access from any location. However, if QoS is important to you, or you have very specific connectivity requirements, MPLS might be the better way to go, despite the higher cost.

The good news is that SD-WAN can interface with legacy technologies, including MPLS, so you can deploy both when you need to support diverse business needs.

TCI’s certified network engineers can help you sort out the best WAN deployment for your business. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.


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