Is MPLS dead? I get this question more often than you would think.

My short answer: no.

However, the question is complicated. A short answer doesn’t quite do it justice. Multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) has a large share of the market (about $40 billion annually), but that share is quickly evaporating. There are two primary reasons for this shift: cloud computing and the availability of low-cost, high-performance Internet connections.

These shifts are at odds with the way legacy MPLS-based WANs have been deployed. What was once seen as a form of secure connectivity from remote offices worldwide to a small set of corporate data centers is now creating debilitating limitations when attempting to integrate cloud computing or take advantage of commodity Internet connections for remote office high availability or performance.

With a legacy network architecture, application traffic is sent from the remote office to servers in the data center over MPLS private WAN connections. While these networks set the standard for security, they are also an order of magnitude more expensive than standard Internet broadband or cellular connections. Further, cloud-hosted and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications do not reside in the data center, and often, a direct path to the Internet from the remote office would provide better performance and substantially lower cost.

Information Technology (I/T) organizations have become accustomed to managing networks by configuring a series of fragmented, fragile, and sometimes non-interoperable features on low-level networking devices. Businesses today are demanding that the inherent complexity be reduced or eliminated in favor of companywide policies that map to intent rather than elements that only seasoned veterans understand. Policies today map to IP addresses, ports, queues, and interfaces, where they should map to applications, networks, sites, and profiles for performance, compliance, and security.

Networking must change to accommodate the new normal of cloud applications.

CloudGenix Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is the industry’s most complete solution for customers that want to build hybrid networks consisting of MPLS private WANs and commodity Internet connections for cloud application adoption, remote office high availability, application performance, and end-to-end visibility. Powered by CloudGenix Instant-On Networks (ION) devices deployed in locations where visibility and control are desired, CloudGenix SD-WAN allows you to create policies based on business intent rather than a series of fragmented networking features, enables dynamic path selection using the highest performing network, and provides visibility into performance and availability for applications and networks.

A secure application fabric, AppFabric, is established amongst all ION devices, creating a virtual private network (VPN) over every WAN link. Policies are defined that are aligned with your business intent that specify performance, compliance, and security rules for your applications and sites. ION devices will automatically choose the best WAN path for your applications based on business policy and real-time analysis of the application performance metrics and WAN links.

Our industry is in the middle of a paradigm shift because of the cloud, and yesterday’s WAN is obsolete. I/T has a new set of demands from the business and the ask is high:

  • Agility – I/T must be able to spin up new branches almost on demand and dictate which apps are important, and which WAN links they can use, to meet goals for performance, security, and compliance
  • Visibility – to see end-to-end performance and availability for every application and network, whether it is deployed in the data center or in the cloud.
  • Cost Reduction and Flexibility – Do all of this while driving expenses down, rightsizing a blend of capacity and price for each location

Want to learn more about how SD-WAN can help your business? Contact nQuery today.