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SD-WAN and MPLS: Technologies Growing Together

One of the biggest selling points for software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is that it can function as a replacement for multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Despite the fact that MPLS is threatened with obsolescence in the face of SD-WAN, there’s actually a business case for keeping both SD-WAN and MPLS together as complementary technologies.

Why Should Anyone Use Both SD-WAN and MPLS?

As it turns out, the combination of SD-WAN and MPLS is not only feasible, it’s also recommended.
MPLS has reputation. SD-WAN is a comparatively new technology. It’s certainly got plenty to recommend its use, but at the same time, MPLS is a known quantity and has been for years. Bringing in the combined force, therefore, allows companies to split the difference. You can’t stick with the familiar forever. The familiar makes an excellent bridge to the new, so using both SD-WAN and MPLS allows the familiar and unfamiliar to connect.
SD-WAN is a savings tool. Many will recommend keeping some MPLS as an additional option. SD-WAN does well with reducing MPLS use, which can be a cost-saver for businesses. Throwing MPLS out altogether, though, is seldom recommended. Some companies use SD-WAN and MPLS together like a virtual private network (VPN), a tool commonly recommended for data security.
SD-WAN adds range. While MPLS options were great for large-scale operations, they didn’t always work well for picking up the smaller sub-sites that businesses might have had. SD-WAN, meanwhile, does that job quite well. The hybrid model of SD-WAN and MPLS means maximum sales potential, tackling both large sites and small branches.
SD-WAN and MPLS means reliability. SD-WAN with pure internet links alone isn’t likely to provide the kind of service that guaranteed quality-of-service (QoS) required by applications. The combination of SD-WAN and MPLS, meanwhile, makes the overall connection stronger and more likely to live up to QoS demands. Since MPLS is a WAN technology, and SD-WAN is an edge technology, combining the two means fuller coverage from the core to the edge.

What to Do When You Want to Make SD-WAN and MPLS Work Together

So as we’ve seen, it may not be SD-WAN or MPLS, and together isn’t really a waste of time and resources. Many times, it’s the perfect combination for value and getting the most out of a network. To put these two together to their fullest, just drop us a line at MicroCorp. We’ll get you familiar with both and how best to deliver to your customers.


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