Is SD-WAN a Good Substitute for MPLS?


Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a method for implementing a reliable, high-performance WAN. Instead of using dedicated circuits, SD-WAN optimizes traffic routing over multiple potential transport links.

Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) has been a reliable solution for enterprises trying to boost the efficiency of their networks. MPLS provides organizations a way to make their network traffic more predictable and secure, while also boosting performance. This is accomplished through the dedicated network circuits of MPLS. By getting MPLS bandwidth from internet service providers (ISPs), enterprises can vastly improve their network output and risk versus taking a more traditional connection.

Although there are clear advantages to organizations using MPLS over more standard router connections, SD-WAN takes this another step further. A software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) allows for an entirely different level of efficiency and security. If you’re wondering if SD-WAN can be a good substitute for MPLS, the short answer is, yes, it can. Here are some specific ways SD-WAN is a sufficient replacement for running only MPLS enterprise connections.

Software-Defined Means Borderless

One of the big issues with relying on MPLS is the fact that it’s a service provided by ISPs. Due to this, geography plays a significant role in the effectiveness and reliability of MPLS solutions. Global businesses might struggle to keep things running smoothly when every region is having to configure its networks in a totally different way.

Even if enterprises make MPLS work on a global level, it’s going to be a pretty inefficient system, which just isn’t acceptable in today’s world where connectivity is key. SD-WAN is defined on a layer that sits above the connection level. With this, networks can be routed to follow the path of least resistance, reducing latency across the board.

Furthermore, the software-defined nature of SD-WAN means it’s compatible with more connection types. With MPLS, network traffic must be centralized and pushed through the same connection protocol. This, however, isn’t the case with SD-WAN, which can be used along with a variety of connections. The added flexibility of SD-WAN makes it a far more holistic option than MPLS.

Managed SD-WAN Makes Sense

In today’s enterprise landscape, a managed SD-WAN solution is often the best choice. Network efficiency, security, and reliability aren’t just important to the IT department. These elements affect an entire organization and can have a massive impact on the bottom line. Organizations wanting to get the most out of SD-WAN should consider some of these benefits to working with a solutions provider:

    • Top-Tier Support Network – Your business can’t afford to have its networks offline or exposed to threats. With a managed SD-WAN, you can rest assured your in-house team will be backed up by industry experts.
    • Ensure Optimal Network Performance – SD-WAN can route traffic based on its priority level and security needs. By having this done through a managed service, you’ll be able to get the absolute highest level of functionality from your networks.
    • Stop Threats Before They Become a Problem – It’s no secret that cyber threats are one of the biggest dangers to enterprises today. The risk becomes even greater when sensitive data is at stake. A managed SD-WAN can be a bastion of safety in an otherwise dangerous environment. Many older connection devices simply don’t cut it in today’s world. With managed SD-WAN, your networks will always be protected by the most recent security best practices.

Reduce Costs While Boosting Performance and Security

While MPLS is a worthy technology, it just doesn’t stack up against SD-WAN in terms of versatility or cost savings. MPLS is expensive, which means enterprises will be paying high costs to run all network traffic through these channels. SD-WAN allows for traffic to be segregated based on various conditions, vastly improving network efficiency, and thus lowering costs.

Network security is a paramount issue for organizations today. By adopting SD-WAN, businesses can stay ahead of threats, while also greatly improving the performance of their networks.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.