MPLS vs SDWAN
Choosing MPLS or SDWAN
MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) are both networking technologies that are commonly used to connect branch offices and remote workers to a central network. However, there are some key differences between the two technologies, and each one has its own set of benefits:
- MPLS: MPLS is a type of network protocol that is used to create virtual private networks (VPNs). It uses labels, rather than IP addresses, to forward packets, which allows for a more efficient use of network resources. MPLS is considered a more secure and reliable option because it prioritises data traffic, and it allows for Quality of Service (QoS) to be implemented to ensure that critical applications have priority over non-critical traffic.
- SD-WAN: SD-WAN is a software-defined approach to managing WAN connections. It uses a virtualised network overlay to connect branch offices and remote workers to the central network. Unlike MPLS, SD-WAN is designed to optimise the use of multiple WAN connections, such as broadband and cellular, in order to provide a more cost-effective and flexible solution. SD-WAN also allows for dynamic traffic management, enabling it to prioritise critical applications and automatically reroute traffic to ensure optimal performance.
- Security: MPLS is considered to be more secure than SD-WAN since the traffic is isolated from the public internet, but SD-WAN has evolved to include more security features like VPN, firewalling, and zero-trust security.
- Scalability: SD-WAN allows for more scalability than MPLS, as it can easily integrate with other WAN connections, like broadband, LTE and DSL as needed, where MPLS typically requires more complex and time-consuming implementation.
- Cost: MPLS can be more expensive than SD-WAN, as it often requires the use of dedicated circuits from a service provider, while SD-WAN can use lower-cost internet connections.
Both MPLS and SD-WAN have their own set of benefits, and which one you choose will depend on your organisation’s specific needs. MPLS is ideal for organisations that prioritise security, reliability, and performance, while SD-WAN is more appropriate for organisations that want cost effective flexibility and ease of deployment.
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