HomeBlogSD-WANWhat’s the difference between SD-WAN & MPLS?

What's the difference between SD-WAN & MPLS? 

Key Takeaways: MPLS vs. SD-WAN, Infographic: Compare SD-WAN, MPLS & Hybrid SD-WAN

MPLS vs. SD-WAN vs. Hybrid SD-WAN

MPLS is a proven network technology that has been around for decades. However, it's expensive, especially to achieve redundancies or when managing fluctuating taxes. A newer way to deploy WAN services is via a software-defined network (SD-WAN). The biggest difference between SD-WAN and MPLS is that MPLS is a dedicated circuit and SD-WAN is virtual overlay using software instead of physical hardware.

SD-WAN can also replace or augment MPLS to reduce costs. Depending on your business needs, you can replace or augment legacy MPLS connectivity to help reduce costs and avoid the expensive FUSC taxes that come with MPLS. This is achieved by a Hybrid SD-WAN model that uses both MPLS and SD-WAN to connect your network. Prioritize your mission critical traffic using a secure, MPLS network with Quality of Service. Then, you can route your internet destined traffic via a less expensive SD-WAN broadband circuit. This model provides redundancy and is more efficient for moving traffic to the cloud. Learn more about the difference between SD-WAN, MPLS or Hybrid SD-WAN in our infographic below or download it here.

eBook: 6 Ways SD-WAN Redefines Branch Office Networking

Learn from from our partners, the experts at VMware on why the network approach your multi-site business needs is SD-WAN, the software-defined WAN.

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

MPLS stands for multi-protocol label switching and provides a secure, all private transport with Quality of Service (QoS) and defined rules for traffic prioritization. In the simplest sense, an MPLS network allows you to privately transport data through your internet service provider’s network. MPLS extends your company’s local area network (or LAN) without using the public internet, and as a result provides your business with its own private connection.

Ideal for businesses with three or more offices, MPLS networking efficiently delivers applications across multiple locations. MPLS utilizes short labels instead of IP addresses to route data quickly. In addition, Quality of Service is used to prioritize different types of data across your network, so you can rank your business' most critical data.

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)

SD-WAN is a software-defined (SD) approach to managing your wide area network (WAN). With SD-WAN, you can optimize your user experience and simplify your network operations in the cloud. SD-WAN provides greater flexibility by using multiple connection types, such as broadband, LTE or MPLS depending on what's available at your location. SD-WAN also allows you to use the bandwidth from all of your circuits at the same time to ensure the highest level of performance.

SD-WAN uses intelligent routing and allows you to control data packets via traffic shaping policies to ensure critical applications run smoothly. If a circuit drops, it is configured to dynamically route applications across other circuits, prioritizing the most important traffic. This solution is quick to deploy and easily scales. Identity-based firewall features automatically apply security and traffic shaping rules to ensure optimal performance.

In short, SD-WAN simplifies your corporate network because:

  • It’s highly secure.
  • It protects you against service outages.
  • It easily scales so you bring new offices online fast.
  • It gives you control and visibility into your network traffic.

Download eBook: 6 Ways SD-WAN Redefines Branch  Office Networking

  • The business landscape is changing fast due to digital transformation. And today’s IT managers are under pressure to stay up-to-date and secure. SD-WAN provides numerous business benefits. Learn six ways SD-WAN redefines branch office networking, including: simplified WAN management, greater operational efficiency, quality user experiences, end-to-end visibility, best-of-breed security, and a better return on investment. Complete the form below to gain immediate access to our eBook.

Why Blackfoot?

quote glacier
“I wish more business partners and solution providers were as transparent and collaborative with their “access” and expertise as Blackfoot Communications.”

Bryan Dady, IT Infrastructure Director, Glacier Bancorp

quote glacier
quote cmc
"Always within reach by phone or email, with great customer service!  When I have to call with any questions or support, I know I will get someone who will assist me with the utmost respect, skill, and professionalism. I highly recommend Blackfoot as a partner for any telecommunications needs.”

Sam Perkins, Center Network Engineer | IT Operations, Community Medical Center

quote cmc
quote purewest
“I was sick of dealing with an internet provider, a WiFi provider, and a separate phone provider to figure out one problem. Blackfoot was adaptable and came up with unique solutions for our business. If something goes wrong, it’s so much simpler to troubleshoot by making one call to one vendor. It’s really nice having a company that is willing to work with us.”

Ashley Grassa, Director of Operations PureWest Christie's International Real Estate

quote purewest
quote sleep city
“The team over at Blackfoot has been instrumental in the success of our business. Their customer service and dedication to supporting us has been refreshing. It’s nice to be able to reach out to someone and have them genuinely want to help.”

Mike Rogers, Controller, Sleep City / Cranky Sam's Brewery / Smart Rooms

quote sleep city
quote hellgate
“Dusty St John and the technical support team at Blackfoot have been a pleasure to work with. Their response time when contacted with either a problem or general question is excellent. Blackfoot, especially Dusty, has also been willing to consult and help with questions about products and processes that are not necessarily part of its product suite in order to help solve problems my organization has needed help with.”

Dale Asanovich, IT Director, Hellgate Elementary School

quote hellgate
blackfoot quote
“Blackfoot Communications provides and manages our phone solution at the Sanders County Courthouse. We had an outdated phone system that we needed to replace. The transition was very coordinated and proved to be smoother than we thought. Now we have a modern phone solution with the best tech support ever!”

Kathy A. Conlin, Sanders County Commissioners’ Office

blackfoot quote
voip testimonial
"Blackfoot is our partner. They care as much about our business as they do their own."

Earl Akers, Director of Information Services, Western Montana Mental Health Center

voip testimonial
fiber testimonial
“Customer service is so important in our line of work. That’s why we needed a provider who could deliver reliable voice and data services. Blackfoot has been a great partner since 2015 and truly shares our vision of customer service excellence.”

Quin Williams, Vice President, Williams Plumbing

fiber testimonial
sd wan testimonial
"It’s a matter of confidence, trust and rapport."

Dan Lee, IT Support Specialist, JCCS

sd wan testimonial
voip phone testimonial
"While cost savings are significant, having a company that can provide timely and superior support is pretty significant, as well."

Matthew Roberts, Systems Administrator, Garlington, Lohn & Robinson Attorneys

voip phone testimonial