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Why you should migrate from MPLS to SD-WAN – beware the challenges though
Mon, 29th Oct 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

There is no doubt – managing and securing enterprise networks used to be a lot more straightforward.

MPLS was the wide area network (WAN) of choice, users were all in fixed locations, the only corporate applications were those housed on company premises, and security meant anti-virus software and a firewall. How times have changed.

Now enterprises (or more specifically, their IT teams) have to deal with rapid site deployment, the mobile workforce, internet and cloud traffic explosion, and the relentless advancement of cyber threats, among others. All these ‘complications' simply didn't exist when MPLS became the go-to solution for connecting locations.

According to Cato Networks, while legacy WAN architectures based on MPLS services do a solid job of providing predictable performance between offices, they're not implemented in a way that easily accommodates today's realities facing IT. Enterprises are increasingly mobile-centric and cloud-driven. Mobile users connect to the internet through VPNs and firewalls, not the MPLS service. And accessing cloud services across MPLS consumes ever more bandwidth, an expensive resource for MPLS networks.

So what's the solution? Many CIOs have embraced software-defined WANs (SD-WANs) as the way forward. Cato Networks says while this is a step in the right direction, it's not a complete solution as organisations are focusing more on fixing the problems with MPLS services rather than addressing all the challenges arising with modern business.

Essentially, once companies deploy SD-WAN, there is still the problem of connecting and protecting mobile users, and providing secure access to cloud resources. And then, of course, there is the need to implement proper planning processes because there are always teething issues with new technologies.

For example, securing all the internet access points created by SD-WAN, figuring out what to do about those sensitive applications that require the management and service level agreements (SLAs) of an MPLS service, et cetera.

The benefits of SD-WAN are well known and it is undoubtedly the way forward from MPLS, but the actual process of an effective migration lacks clarity. What specific steps should you consider when migrating from a traditional MPLS network to SD-WAN?

Cato Cloud is a self-service SD-WAN service tailored to help businesses in this process by simplifying the enterprise infrastructure, offering one converged network with one security framework for all users and all applications to make IT leaner and more agile.

The end result being slashed MPLS costs, improved performance between global locations and to cloud applications, eliminated branch appliances, secure internet access everywhere, and seamless integration of mobile users and cloud data centers into the WAN.