Feeling like MPLS means More Pay Less Service? Consider this.

Here’s a quick quiz.


Question 1: Is your company looking to globalize?

Question 2: Are you moving your applications to the cloud?

If you answered yes to either of these, you might reconsider the value of your MPLS. Companies of all sizes are desperate for performance, bandwidth, and low latency. And today’s go-to solution is from telcos offering MPLS as a private-link network solution. If you’re a large multinational with deep pockets, sure, it’s probably worth it. But for the majority of companies this (legacy) technology doesn’t make sense.

[bctt tweet=”#MPLS means More Pay Less Service.”]

MPLS is slow to deploy and unaffordable for smaller operations. It also doesn’t serve companies that are actively migrating to the cloud. Perhaps it’s time to examine your need for today’s MPLS solutions. Here’s why:

MPLS + Globalization = Expensive and Time consuming

Companies of all sizes have two goals that often don’t go well together. They want better, faster performance from their network AND they want the ability to easily expand these networks to new global offices. Today, MPLS networks are not able to serve these goals simultaneously. With MPLS, expanding business to places like China, Brazil, Australia, and India is expensive and can take many months to set up. Even for the largest companies, it’s too expensive for its most far-flung locations.

[bctt tweet=”#MPLS + Globalization = Expensive and Time consuming.”]

The Need for Speed – Italian Style

Italians like designing fast moving machines. And Bologna–based Marposs is no different. Marposs actually makes the equipment that measures and tests production machinery. To do this, they need network connectivity and application sharing between their headquarters in Italy and their plants in China. And they require their WAN to move like a Ferrari.  Good bandwidth and minimal latency are absolutely critical to productivity.

In 2011, Marposs had a 2 Mbps MPLS line in place between the two sites to handle their bandwidth needs. It just wasn’t doing the trick.

Tired of performance issues, Marposs was considering deploying WAN optimization appliances to improve their Internet VPN performance. But they were hesitant because of the added effort in having to install and maintain the appliances.  They decided to use Aryaka’s cloud-based, high performance WAN connectivity solution, which could be deployed almost instantly. The results were incredible. Application performance sped up as much as 12 times. Videoconferencing was back in action. Pretty soon, they shut down their dedicated MPLS line for Aryaka’s holistic WAN as-a-Service offering.

Getting your head in the Cloud?

MPLS was designed to support site-to-site traffic. But today, we collaborate through any-to-any data centers – be it branch, remote or distributed collaboration. What’s more, employees are going straight to the Internet to access cloud-based corporate data and applications.  MPLS however, was never designed for transactional, TCP- and HTTP-based interactive applications that use the cloud. And compromise is unlikely. Trying to enable cloud applications via MPLS is just not affordable. There’s no way a CIO (or CEO) will sign off on budget-gobbling private lines to every important cloud data center. In fact, most cloud service providers wouldn’t even allow it.

Are you really buying a global solution?

There is actually no such thing as a global MPLS provider. Sure, large service providers sell it as global MPLS, but that doesn’t mean they sell a global backbone that they totally control. In order to stay “global”, MPLS providers have multiple partnerships in place with other providers internationally. This causes buyers to be forced into compromises between performance and cost.

[bctt tweet=”There is actually no such thing as a global #MPLS provider. “]

The public Internet. Welcome to the jungle.

MPLS vendors have been known to sell connectivity as a combination of private and purely Internet-based links. But in certain locations, the last mile may be a DSL link because there is no good way to pull a private link into certain regions. They must rely on the public Internet for a chunk of their backbone. And there’s no way around it, any time your data crosses the Internet, it’s vulnerable to continual slowdowns and service disruptions. With pricey, slow-to-expand, sub-par performance, MPLS often proves to be a very frustrating solution.

– Nilesh

About the author