SD-WAN vs. MPLS vs. SDN– How to Choose Right Network for your Company

- The Difference in the Details

Multiprotocol Label Switching - also known as MPLS - was around before software-defined wide area networking - also known as SD-WAN - came along to provide the benefits of SDN to networking that was hardware based.
MPLS is a protocol for efficient network traffic flow that happens between two or more locations. MPLS operates in a similar way to switches and routers and is considered to be layer 2.5. Packet-forwarding technology is used to make data forwarding decisions.

SD WAN vs SDN - The Difference in the Details

It's important to know the differences between SDN and SD-WAN because while they both begin with SD, they are not the same. Their shared background in the separation of the control and data planes allow both to run on commodity x86 hardware. Both can also be virtualized.
  • SD-WAN provides software-defined application routing to the WAN and connecting an organization's' many locations.
  • SDN focuses internally within the LAN or the core network of the service provider.

- The Difference in the Details

An organization has to choose the right solution between MPLS and SDN, and both of these can offer your business that solution.

SDN Business Advantages

  • Cost Reduction
  • Overhead Reduction
  • Physical vs. Virtual Networking Management
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Central Networking Management Tool
  • Centralized Control

MPLS Business Advantages

  • One Carrier circuit can support MPLS, Internet, and SIP
  • Domestic MPLS takes 30 days typically to install.
  • Carriers provide next-gen firewall
  • Carrier Managed Solutions such as Firewall, VOIP, etc..
  • MPLS port pricing is practically the same as Internet port pricing
  • MPLS supports many transport types including Ethernet, Broadband, DSL

SD WAN Pros and Cons

Most people have heard of SD-WAN but don't know what it actually is. The software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN or SDWAN) is an application of SDN technology applied to certain WAN connections such as broadband internet, 4G, LTE, or MPLS. SD-WAN connects enterprise networks over large geographic distances.
SD-WAN offers your business advantage over traditional MPLS networks. Let's take a look at some of those:
  • Dramatically impact the entire enterprise networking ecosystem. Geographic boundaries are erased
  • Visibility, scalability, performance, and control are enhanced.
  • SD-WAN comes with no bandwidth penalties.
  • Ability to cost-effectively mix and match network links according to content type or priority.
  • High level of security.
  • End-to-end encryption across the entire network, including the Internet.
  • All devices and endpoints are completely authenticated.

MPLS Pros and Cons

MPLS is a technique, not a service. It was started at the turn of the century, and it works to address determine efficient routes for packets that enter a network. Using MPLS, a packet will go into the network and be assigned to a specific FEC. It's a layer 2.5 service, and it's not as modern as SD-WAN
MPLS offers your business advantage over SD-WAN networks. Let's take a look at some of those:
  • Reliable delivery of packets.
  • MPLS offers excellent quality of service when it comes to avoiding packet loss and keeping a business’s most crucial traffic flowing.
  • Ability to maintain the quality of real-time protocols, such as Voice of IP (VoIP).
  • Traffic predictability within the network as network paths are predetermined, so packets travel only along the paths to which they’re directed.
The downside? Bandwidth cost. The high per-megabit cost that MPLS demands can be out of reach. Also, an MPLS network doesn’t offer built-in data protection, and if incorrectly implemented, it can open the network to vulnerabilities.

SDN Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to SDN, too, and we've collated a few of them for you below:
  • Visibility. Separating the data plane and control plane gives the IT department an aerial-like view of the entire network.
  • Efficient. Able to make changes that can increase the speed of the entire network.
  • Secure. The higher visibility allows for much better security and stops security breaches.
There are also cons to consider!
  • Very little in the way of hardware security, as you are eliminating the use of physical routers and switches.

How can help businesses in SD WAN Deployment?

Businesses can use to hire the right SD-WAN technician as a Gig worker which can result in cost savings, increased revenue, productivity, etc. SD-WAN technicians on are certified and have gone through background checks.
FE SD-WAN Deployment | Customer Story