June 14, 2024

Internet-Based SDWAN Deployment vs MPLS-Based SDWAN Deployment

8 min read
Discover the pros and cons of Internet-based SDWAN deployment versus MPLS-based SDWAN deployment in this comprehensive article.
Two networks

Two networks

The world of networking has drastically evolved in recent years, and one of the most significant changes has been the introduction of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SDWAN). This new technology offers superior network management, enhanced security protocols, and increased bandwidth without compromising on performance. Two of the most popular models of SDWAN deployment are Internet-Based SDWAN and MPLS-Based SDWAN. In this article, we will compare the two deployment models and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Understanding SDWAN and its Benefits

Before diving into the comparison, it is essential to understand what SDWAN is and the benefits it offers. SDWAN is a technology that allows network operators to administer the entire wide area network through a centralized control system. One of the most significant advantages of SDWAN is that it offers network agility, which is essential in today’s rapidly changing business environment. SDWAN also provides enhanced security protocols through encryption techniques and firewalls that protect against intrusion and data breaches. Additionally, SDWAN provides increased bandwidth at a lower cost than traditional WAN offerings.

Another benefit of SDWAN is its ability to optimize network traffic. With SDWAN, network operators can prioritize critical applications and allocate bandwidth accordingly, ensuring that important applications receive the necessary resources to function optimally. This optimization also helps to reduce network congestion and latency, resulting in improved application performance and user experience. Furthermore, SDWAN simplifies network management by providing a single interface for network configuration and monitoring, reducing the need for manual intervention and minimizing the risk of human error.

The Importance of Choosing the Right SDWAN Deployment Model

When implementing an SDWAN deployment model, it is vital to select the right approach for your business requirements. There are two primary deployment models for SDWAN: Internet-Based and MPLS-Based. The correct choice is critical because it affects network performance, reliability, complexity, and costs. It is essential to evaluate each deployment model carefully based on your specific needs.

One of the key benefits of an Internet-Based SDWAN deployment model is that it can provide cost savings compared to MPLS-Based models. Internet-Based SDWANs can leverage multiple internet connections, including broadband and LTE, to create a more resilient and cost-effective network. However, it is important to note that Internet-Based SDWANs may not be suitable for all businesses, especially those with strict security and compliance requirements.

Comparison of Internet-Based SDWAN and MPLS-Based SDWAN

While both Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN models offer advanced network management, they differ significantly in terms of reliability, security, and cost. The foremost differentiating factor between the two models is the transport protocol of each network. An Internet-Based SDWAN uses the public internet, while MPLS-Based SDWAN relies on dedicated links and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) technology to ensure speed and performance levels.

MPLS, while more expensive, offers an exclusive pathway to transmit data, which results in lower latency and improved security. This deployment model is ideal for businesses that require a high level of reliability, performance, and security for their WAN links. In contrast, Internet-Based SDWAN deployment is less expensive because it uses public infrastructure, but the data is transmitted over shared pathways. Therefore, it does not provide the same level of security and is more prone to network congestion.

Another key difference between Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN is the level of control that businesses have over their networks. MPLS-Based SDWAN allows for more granular control over network traffic, enabling businesses to prioritize certain types of traffic and ensure that critical applications receive the necessary bandwidth. In contrast, Internet-Based SDWAN relies on the public internet, which can be unpredictable and may not provide the same level of control over network traffic.

Finally, it is worth noting that Internet-Based SDWAN is often more flexible than MPLS-Based SDWAN. Because it uses public infrastructure, it is easier to scale up or down as needed, and businesses can quickly add or remove sites from their network. MPLS-Based SDWAN, on the other hand, requires dedicated links to be established between sites, which can be time-consuming and expensive. As such, Internet-Based SDWAN may be a better choice for businesses that need to be able to quickly adapt to changing network requirements.

Cost Analysis: Which SDWAN Deployment Model is More Affordable?

When evaluating the cost of deploying an SDWAN solution, it is crucial to consider the total cost of ownership (TOC) rather than the upfront costs only. This calculation includes the implementation, management, and maintenance of the infrastructure. MPLS-Based SDWAN, while more expensive initially, has a lower TOC in comparison to Internet-Based SDWAN, which requires additional security measures to ensure secure data transmission.

Another factor to consider when analyzing the cost of SDWAN deployment is the scalability of the solution. MPLS-Based SDWAN may be more expensive to scale up, as it requires additional hardware and infrastructure. On the other hand, Internet-Based SDWAN can be easily scaled up by adding more bandwidth, making it a more cost-effective option for businesses that anticipate growth in the future.

It is also important to note that the cost of SDWAN deployment can vary depending on the vendor and the specific features and services included in the solution. Businesses should carefully evaluate their needs and compare different vendors and their offerings to determine the most cost-effective option for their organization.

Network Security Considerations for Internet-Based SDWAN Deployment

As mentioned earlier, Internet-Based SDWAN deployment relies on public infrastructure, which raises security concerns. Therefore, network security should be a crucial consideration when deciding on a deployment model. The Internet-Based SDWAN deployment model requires additional security measures, such as VPNs, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, to guard against potential cyber-threats. Security considerations must be addressed to ensure data privacy, integrity, and availability, particularly for businesses whose operations are regulated by data protection laws.

One of the key challenges in implementing network security for Internet-Based SDWAN deployment is the need to balance security with performance. The additional security measures required for this deployment model can impact network performance, leading to slower data transfer rates and increased latency. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate the security measures needed and implement them in a way that minimizes their impact on network performance.

Another important consideration for network security in Internet-Based SDWAN deployment is the need for ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Cyber-threats are constantly evolving, and security measures that were effective in the past may no longer be sufficient. Regular security assessments and updates are necessary to ensure that the network remains secure and protected against new and emerging threats.

Performance Assessment: Internet-Based vs MPLS-Based SDWAN Deployment

One of the most critical factors in the deployment of an SDWAN solution is network performance. Both Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN models offer different levels of performance. MPLS-Based SDWAN ensures high-speed connectivity, minimal latency, and lower packet loss, making it the ideal choice for businesses that require superior level performance. Internet-Based SDWAN, on the other hand, offers less reliable performance but at a lower cost to the business.

It is important to note that the choice between Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment depends on the specific needs of the business. For example, businesses that rely heavily on real-time applications such as video conferencing or VoIP may benefit more from MPLS-Based SDWAN due to its superior performance. On the other hand, businesses that prioritize cost savings over performance may opt for Internet-Based SDWAN. Ultimately, it is crucial to evaluate the business’s requirements and goals before deciding on the type of SDWAN deployment.

Bandwidth Requirements for Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN Deployment

When selecting an SDWAN deployment model, it is crucial to assess your bandwidth requirements and the characteristics of your traffic. Internet-Based SDWAN deployment models are designed for traffic that does not require high levels of performance, such as cloud-based applications or non-real-time traffic. MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment models, on the other hand, are designed for real-time and mission-critical traffic that demands consistent high-performance levels.

It is important to note that Internet-Based SDWAN deployment models can be more cost-effective than MPLS-Based models, as they utilize public internet connections instead of dedicated private connections. However, this can also lead to potential security risks and lower reliability compared to MPLS-Based models.

Another factor to consider when assessing bandwidth requirements is the number of branch locations and the amount of traffic each location generates. Larger organizations with multiple branch locations and high traffic volumes may require a more robust SDWAN deployment model, such as an MPLS-Based model with dedicated connections and Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to prioritize critical traffic.

Scalability Considerations for Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN Deployment

Scalability is a crucial factor in any network deployment. MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment models are scalable, making them the ideal choice for businesses that need to expand their network capabilities. On the other hand, Internet-Based SDWAN deployment models are less scalable and may require additional network capacity to support the growth of the network.

It is important to note that while MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment models are more scalable, they can also be more expensive to implement and maintain. Internet-Based SDWAN deployment models, on the other hand, are typically more cost-effective and easier to deploy. However, businesses must carefully consider their scalability needs and budget constraints when choosing between these two deployment models.

Preparing for the Transition: Migrating from MPLS to Internet-Based SDWAN Deployment

Businesses that have already implemented an MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment model may be considering switching to an Internet-Based SDWAN deployment because of the lower cost. However, making this transition requires careful planning, as the resources required for Internet-Based SDWAN deployment may be different from those needed for MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment.

One of the key differences between MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment and Internet-Based SDWAN deployment is the level of security. MPLS networks are considered more secure because they are private and not accessible to the public internet. On the other hand, Internet-Based SDWAN deployment relies on the public internet, which can be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that they have the necessary security measures in place before making the switch to Internet-Based SDWAN deployment.

The Future of SDWAN and its Impact on Network Infrastructure

The benefits of SDWAN technology are evident, and as more businesses recognize its potential, the adoption rate is expected to continue rising. The future of SDWAN looks bright, with the potential to transform WAN infrastructure. As businesses continue to expand geographically and implement cloud-based applications, SDWAN deployment solutions offer a cost-effective and scalable solution to network management.

In summary, the choice between Internet-Based and MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment models should be based on the specific needs and requirements of a business. While MPLS-Based SDWAN deployment offers superior performance, reliability, and security, it comes at a higher cost. On the other hand, Internet-Based SDWAN deployment models offer scalability, flexibility, and low cost but at the expense of network reliability and security. Ultimately, businesses should analyze the total cost of ownership, network performance requirements, and security considerations when choosing an SDWAN deployment model.

One of the key advantages of SDWAN technology is its ability to provide centralized management and control of network infrastructure. This allows businesses to easily monitor and manage their network from a single location, reducing the need for on-site IT staff and improving overall efficiency. Additionally, SDWAN technology can help businesses to optimize their network performance by automatically routing traffic over the most efficient path, reducing latency and improving application performance. As the demand for high-speed, reliable network connectivity continues to grow, SDWAN technology is poised to play an increasingly important role in the future of network infrastructure.

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