SD-WAN Solutions

 What Are The Differences Between MPLS and SD-WAN?

The Main Differences Between SD-WAN & MPLS

MPLS traffic follows a fixed defined path based on set routing tables. Internet and Cloud bound traffic is backhauled to a central location where the traffic is passed to a separate public internet access connection. MPLS is provided by a single network provider, with different provider networks connected via NNI – network to network interconnect. Typically installed with an active main and a passive back-up circuit – the back-up circuit is only used when the main circuit fails.

SD-WAN can use MPLS as a means of connectivity, along with many other access technologies. In a properly designed SD-WAN solution, traffic can access the Internet and Cloud environments directly from each site, without backhauling traffic thereby reducing latency and reducing the amount of bandwidth required at each site. SD-WAN uses connections from many different providers and uses all available bandwidth – which means, no circuits are sitting idle!


SD-WAN Quality of Service & Service Level Agreements


MPLS networks guarantee performance of certain types of traffic by separating traffic into different classes according to traffic type. Typically 6 classes are identified although this could drop to 4 depending on the number of NNIs in the solution. Each traffic class is allocated a set amount of bandwidth within the MPLS circuit, and that bandwidth is guaranteed.

SD-WAN provides a comparable service based on application type and required parameters such as latency, jitter etc. Priority is given to specific applications which then have access to all the bandwidth all the time, always prioritised over other applications – typically Teams voice traffic is prioritised over Facebook for example.

SD-WAN offers a more intelligent and granular option to ensure application performance and traffic priority.


MPLS type solutions offer SLA agreements for network conditions and outages, dependant on the solution design. SLAs range from 99.999% to 99% uptime guarantees, based on solution design. These agreements more than often pay out paltry amounts for non conformance, often £30 – £50 for an outage that took your business offline for an hour!

SLAs are an outdated concept that provide a false sense of security.

SD-WAN in comparison offers SLAs on individual connectivity connections, but not on the solution as a whole. The reason behind this is that we would much prefer to deliver a service that conforms to your requirements rather than pay out pennies for a service that doesn’t. SD-WAN is coherently resilient in design and solutions are designed to your required uptime and performance levels – HA configurations, multiple connectivity providers and technologies per site and fail to wire / glass technology are just a few examples of how SD-WAN can be designed.

We deliver SD-WAN networks according to the actual application performance required


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