Technology - MPLS Alternative for Efficient & Cost-Effective Networking

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a layer 2 communication switching protocol that relies on compact switching labels to relay payloads to the next hop, as opposed to the layer 3 IP addressing used in common IP routing protocols. In theory, MPLS should provide quicker look-ups and, therefore, lower latency.

MPLS - Multi Protocol Label Switching network

Traditional Use of MPLS Circuits

Historically, MPLS circuits have been used to connect branch offices to each other to facilitate communication between the branches. For IP traffic destined to/from the public Internet, the branch office was required to connect to the service provider core via layer 2, as MPLS does not have layer 3 routing ability. Once the packets are received at the service provider core, the MPLS labels are stripped, and packets are dropped into the layer 3 network to be routed to the public Internet.


Inability to Route Internet Traffic Locally

Since MPLS transport doesn’t have layer 3 routing capabilities, packets in and out of branch offices need to go through the MPLS gateway at the service provider core. This means any type of traffic, including web surfing or traffic destined for public clouds, will go through the expensive MPLS circuits just to connect to the Internet.

High Cost of MPLS

MPLS transport is expensive, especially when compared to widely available broadband Internet access lines such as DSL, cable, and fiber. The per-bit cost of MPLS can unnecessarily consume a significant portion of the IT budget. To overcome MPLS bandwidth bottlenecks, IT managers are usually presented with expensive MPLS upgrade options that are not practical.

Single Point of Failure

Although MPLS is often advertised by carriers as having higher uptime, it can still go down when the carrier experiences a technical problem. Since MPLS is primarily based on a single service provider and single transport, it can be crippled by a single point of failure.

Limited Bandwidth and Long Lead Times

MPLS upgrades for higher bandwidth may not be possible in some cases or are otherwise cost-prohibitive. The lead times for MPLS installation and upgrades can be impractically long, hindering an organization’s ability to scale and adapt to changing network requirements.


SD-WAN Versus MPLS: A Comparison of Key Benefits

Agile Traffic Management for Optimized Bandwidth Utilization

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN enables easy QoS and traffic management, allowing Internet traffic to be routed locally without consuming the point-to-point tunnel from branch offices to the data center or between branch offices. This significantly reduces the traffic that needs to go through the tunnels between branches, effectively relieving congestion and optimizing bandwidth utilization.

Increased Reliability with High Uptime

With the availability of various carriers and service providers for connectivity, including MPLS, DSL, cable, fiber, 4G LTE, 5G wireless, or satellite communications, office connectivity is no longer tied to a single point of failure. Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN tunnels ensure that even ongoing sessions are kept alive during transport blackouts and brownouts, providing increased reliability and high uptime.

Cost-Effective MPLS Augmentation

Cost-effective broadband Internet lines can be brought together with Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN, resulting in an overlay IP connectivity with improved QoS and SLAs. This multi-WAN architecture enables a highly effective alternative to MPLS by either augmenting or completely replacing MPLS circuits, offering significant cost savings without compromising on performance.

Rapid Deployment and Rollout

Installation and rollout of new locations can be completed within minutes by drop-shipping preconfigured units to the branch being turned up. The zero-touch installation enables hassle-free and quick location turn-ups compared to lead times that can be orders of magnitude longer with MPLS. This rapid deployment capability allows organizations to quickly expand their network footprint and adapt to changing business requirements.


Application-Centric Approach for Optimized Performance

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN technology has an application-centric approach at its core. This means flows can be identified and treated via overlay tunnels designed to optimize specific applications. Since application needs for QoS (Quality of Service) differ, from maximizing throughput to minimizing packet loss, latency, jitter, or many other factors, including the historic performance of the WAN, highly advanced SD-WAN tunnels truly make a difference in end-user experiences.

Proven Track Record and Extensive Experience

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN solutions have been deployed worldwide with the widest and largest portfolio of clients. Use cases include deployments in enterprise branches, service providers deploying for branch office connectivity, HD broadcasting using live video streaming, and public transportation deployments for optimized connectivity over 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G wireless. Mushroom Networks’ solutions embed technologies that have been perfected over more than a decade with unique know-how and in-the-field experience.

Automation at Every Level for Simplified Management

One of the added values of SD-WAN architectures is based on automating the configuration and management of endpoints. However, being able to automate problem mitigation by setting WAN networks on autopilot is unique to Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN. Advanced tunnels automatically monitor network conditions and detect anomalies that will negatively affect a specific flow type, taking measures to route around those network problems in real-time without dropping ongoing sessions.

SD-WAN Design Studio for Customizable Solutions

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN solutions come with built-in SD-WAN tunnels already configured. However, for service providers and enterprises that would like to customize their SD-WAN overlay networks, Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN Design Studio offers a drag-and-drop based UI to build or modify tunnels with ease. This shrinks new service development and rollout cycles by an order of magnitude, enabling organizations to quickly adapt to changing network requirements and roll out new services.

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