Will SD-WAN (Software Designed Wide Area Network) replace MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)?

I have been thinking about this since I have a potential client that is evaluating both.  MPLS has done a good job of differentiating traffic based on tagging the packets for the different types of traffic (i.e.- voice, video, database, Citrix, CRM, etc.) and in providing a private VPN for a customers WAN traffic.  It also was good for segmenting Internet traffic.

So, what gives with all of the SD-WAN talk?  Will it replace MPLS?  My answer is Yes and No.  No for the next few years, but Yes, for the future.  SD-WAN allows multiple Internet connections to be used for all types of traffic, allows for real-time latency testing and for dynamically provisioning servers, apps, databases, etc. in the cloud.  The possibilities are almost endless compared to MPLS, which normally is only one circuit with up to 5 classes of packets.  It is like comparing an apple and an orange.

SD-WAN is also not just software, it uses a CPE device at each customer site that is used to provide all of the services.  This box is provided as part of the service.  It is like a VPN, but has been modified to provide all of these types of services.  If you have more questions about the uses of MPLS or SD-WAN, please give us a call.

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