Technology - MPLS Alternative

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 that is used in the common IP routing protocols. In theory, MPLS should  provide quicker look-ups and therefore should have lower latency.

MPLS - Multi Protocol Label Switching network

MPLS circuits historically have been used to connect branch offices to each other to facilitate the 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.

Shortcomings with MPLS

Internet traffic cannot be routed locally

Since MPLS transport doesn’t have layer 3 routing capabilities, the packets in and out of the 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 to public clouds, will go through the expensive MPLS circuits just to connect to the Internet.

MPLS cost is high

MPLS transport is expensive. Especially when compared to widely available broadband Internet access lines such as DSL, cable and fiber. 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

MPLS usually is advertised by carriers to have higher uptime, however they still go down when the carrier has 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.

Long lead times and limited bandwidth

MPLS upgrades for higher bandwidth may not be possible in some cases, or otherwise are cost prohibitive. The lead times for MPLS installation and upgrades can be impractically long.

SD-WAN vs MPLS

Agile traffic management

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN enables easy QoS and traffic management so that Internet traffic can be routed locally without consuming the point-to-point tunnel from branch office to the data center or between branch offices. This significantly reduces the traffic that needs to go through the tunnels between branches and therefore relieves congestion.

Increased reliability with high 9s uptime

With the availability of various carriers and service providers for the connectivity including MPLS, DSL, cable, fiber or even 3G, 4G LTE, 5G wireless, or satcom, office connectivity is no longer tied to a single point of failure. With Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN tunnels, even on-going sessions are kept alive during transport blackouts and brownouts.

Cost-effective as MPLS augmentation

Since cost-effective broadband Internet lines can be brought together with Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN, the overlay IP connectivity will have improved QoS and SLAs. This multi-WAN architecture enables a very effective alternative to MPLS by either augmenting, or completely replacing, MPLS circuits.

Rapid turn ups and rollout

Installation and rollout of new locations can be completed within minutes with drop shipping preconfigured units to the branch that is 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.

Why Mushroom's SD-WAN?

Application-centric approach

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

Proven track record and experience

Mushroom Networks’ SD-WAN solutions have been deployed world-wide 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, 5G wireless. Mushroom Networks’ solutions embed technologies that are perfected over more than a decade with unique know-how and in-the-field experience.

Automation at every level

One of the added values of SD-WAN architectures is based on automating the configuration and management of the end-points. However, being able to automate problem mitigation via setting the 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 and accordingly take measures to route around those network problems in real-time without dropping on-going sessions.

VNF Design Studio

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’ VNF 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.

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