MPLS is a wonderful solution for businesses that need a private, reliable, low-latency WAN for connecting their remote offices and distributed infrastructure. They are expensive and have limitations, including limited bandwidth and flexibility, complex setups and reliance on a single carrier or provider. What was once a singular solution to fixing connection issues is no longer the case – SD-WAN offers an alternative.

You don’t have to choose between MPLS or SD-WAN, you can use them both.  

Many Ecessa customers keep their MPLS and enhance it with SD-WAN as an overlay. Businesses also replace their MPLS in exchange for lower cost cable and fiber connections with SD-WAN providing the encryption, control and performance improvement. In addition to saving money, they get more flexibility with routing and customization to make their network run faster.  

A SMOOTH TRANSITION TO SD-WAN

Moving away from MPLS presents more than just cost savings. Added resiliency, load balancing and additional bandwidth all play together to strengthen networks and increase connectivity.

Ecessa takes a phased approach to MPLS replacement, allowing clients to adopt a full SD-WAN solution at their own pace.

One
TRANSLUCENT MODE

First, Ecessa devices are deployed in the network and all MPLS traffic is routed through them in translucent mode. Users won’t notice any changes in connection speed or latency at this point, but the framework for switching to SD-WAN has been laid. The goal is to demonstrate interoperability and ensure there are no basic networking issues – no need to rip out a new technology.

Two
ADDING REDUNDANCY

Next, we’ll add in one Internet circuit and begin work on load balancing and fine-tuning, so traffic flows evenly over the existing MPLS circuit and the new Internet circuit. Users may begin to notice improved connectivity because traffic is freed-up. In many cases, users add a second broadband connection to the network so traffic flows across all three connections according to desired rules. The environment then offers a platform to experiment with critical business applications flowing across best-effort Internet connections only. If there is a test bed for replacing the MPLS, this is it. We use real network performance data to prove that SD-WAN can support that business’s requirements.

Three
FINE TUNING

Once Phase 2 is completed with positive results, we disconnect the MPLS for the ultimate test; demonstrating secure, resilient traffic flowing smoothly from point A to point B, without the need for the MPLS connection. The ancillary MPLS connection can be decommissioned at this point, or it can be phased out at a later date.

DELIVERING HIGHER BANDWIDTH

WITH GREATER RESILIENCY

Points West Community Bank operates from 17 offices spread over three states, with a self-managed data center and disaster recovery site. For years, they leveraged MPLS connections at each location. While this solution worked, it came with a level of risk. If a circuit went out, that branch was down. And because several circuits were purchased from the same carrier, regional outages could take down five branches out at once. This was not acceptable or sustainable. After Points West deployed an Ecessa SD-WAN solution, each branch enjoyed dramatically increased bandwidth, zero outages, and an overall reduction in monthly technology costs.


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