3 Simple Ways for Choosing the Right MPLS Alternative


In our cloud-enabled world, MPLS is on the way out – but it’s dying a slow death. Legacy networks have not been made completely obsolete, but as more organizations attempt to access resources in the cloud or connect remote and mobile users across disparate geographies, we’ll find that our networks become more and more difficult to manage.

The transition between legacy networks and software-defined networks may not seem like a smooth one, but no matter how ready you are to take the leap, there are a few migration options for keeping the enterprise WAN connected, secure, and performing optimally.

Option 1: Completely Replace MPLS

The most expeditious way to get exactly what you want from the enterprise WAN is to completely replace MPLS. This is easiest if you’re nearing the end of your legacy contracts.

Why would your organization want to replace MPLS right now? While MPLS may still have some utility, replacing MPLS now ensures that you’re ahead of the curve by the time it’s fully obsolete. In addition, the cost savings in both hardware and man-hours using a fully managed network as a service justify software-defining your enterprise WAN sooner rather than later.

The solution is to replace your network with a global private network with built-in WAN Optimization and SD-WAN in order to reduce the need for devices in each location. This not only provides the flexibility and scalability of the Internet but also allows you to keep the reliability of an MPLS-grade network.

Option 2: Utilize Hybrid WAN

If you’re not at the end of your MPLS contracts, or the idea of doing a complete network replacement seems daunting, you might consider a situation in which you use a software-defined private network as a hybrid WAN.

When your regional connectivity is unaffected, but you’ve begun expanding globally or are deploying cloud/SaaS applications, a hybrid WAN that leverages a software-defined global private network can help your organization achieve faster and more reliable global access compared to the public Internet, allowing you to seamlessly integrate cloud and SaaS workloads and applications into your legacy WAN.

A hybrid WAN can either find an interconnect point with your data center/an application origin and/or exist side-by-side with your existing network. The purpose of using this hybrid network is to make it easier for you to receive the same quality connectivity as your legacy network while still enabling you to connect with the cloud or quickly scale to new global offices or remote users.

In time, you may find that it makes sense to move fully to a software-defined global private WAN, but until your contracts expire or legacy technology becomes a less viable option, a hybrid network can support your cloud/SaaS applications and global data delivery.

Option 3: Create Backup Links

Another option is to software-define your backup links. And before you jump to the public Internet, keep in mind that having a primary MPLS link with the public Internet as a backup will not provide the same level of performance as an MPLS backup during outages. Performance expectations over the public Internet suffer due to unreliable latency and packet loss.

Using a software-defined global private network as a backup allows you to avoid reliance on the same primary MPLS provider for redundancy, while leveraging link diversity for better high-availability.

This is also a better option than deploying redundant MPLS links, because that can be expensive, complex, and take several months to deploy. Also, keep in mind that MPLS was not designed to access cloud and SaaS applications seamlessly. To link the network with the cloud, you will have to invest in workarounds, which can lead to higher network costs and a slowdown in productivity.

Global enterprises require a backup network solution that can be deployed instantly and can scale on-demand as bandwidth requirements increase.

The Next Step
Don’t wait for legacy networks to add to your costs as you expand globally and into the cloud. The smartest move you can make is the one that moves your networks closer to software-definition and away from creeping obsolescence.

With options designed to fit your enterprise WAN needs now and in the future, Aryaka’s global private SD-WAN can help you move toward a more reliable, more connected, more flexible enterprise WAN. Find out how by scheduling a proof of concept today.

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About the author

Gary Sevounts
Gary Sevounts is the Chief Marketing Officer at Aryaka Networks, and is responsible for Aryaka’s global marketing efforts. He has extensive experience with software and SaaS products in the IT infrastructure and security space, as well as marketing and sales technology, having held marketing and product management leadership roles with a number of industry leaders.