For the past two and a half decades, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of the deployed multi-protocol layer socket for traffic regulation on the internet. This protocol reigned the data transmission realms for a while, unrivaled by any new developments.

However, introducing newer and more efficient options has taken MPLS by storm, leaving it unwanted, with many entities scramming for its younger successors, leaving many wondering if MPLS is dead. If so, what are the reasons that have led to the decline in its popularity? Here’s an elaborate layout of its slow suffocating demise.

How MPLS Works

Multi-protocol layer socket works with the help of network packets when transmitting data, a process that’s known as IP forwarding. The three-layer protocol uses the source and destination IP addresses to send information within the webbed network.

Every packet moves through multiple routers that contain the routing table. This routing table keeps a record of all the next gateway through which the packet should pass until it reaches the final destination.

The label switch routers are the main layers facilitating data transmission in the MPLS. These are presented in chronological order depending on their task within the system.

  • Ingress LSR – This LSR starts the network as the receiver of an unlabeled IP packet. After the reception, the ingress LSR pushes a label on top of it and paves the way for the packet to move to the next level in the transmission.
  • Intermediate LSR – Between Ingress and Egress LSR routers, there is the intermediate LSR. Swapping and forwarding the packet is what intermediate LSR does.
  • Egress LSR – Next comes the egress LSR, responsible for receiving and popping the label from an incoming packet. Egress LSR routers are situated at the rear end of the network and forward a packet as an IP once it’s labeled.

The Fall Of MPLS

The transition of businesses to the cloud is one of the major contributors to the death of MPLS. Compared to the MPLS route, SD-WAN offers a more straightforward option of sending traffic directly to the cloud instead of rerouting it to the headquarters first.

It’s been replaced by software-defined WANs, which offer this direct route to the cloud. This software also manages multiple connections from MPLS to LTE effortlessly. SD-WAN can source the most reliable path to wire traffic for the most effective results for various applications within the organization.

Cost implications also come into play when considering why more companies are hoping for this new trend. For a 100 Mbps MPLS connection, a company will have to pay a whopping $1,277 each month. On the other hand, SD-WAN costs $300 for the same monthly speeds, so SD-WAN would be the best option for a business to cut costs.

Routing any traffic, including MPLS, makes SD-WAN a preferred version compared to its predecessor. An enterprise WAN-Architect needs to find a central position and effortlessly apply the policies across all WAN devices within his leverage. Compared to the SD-WAN, MPLS requires more pre planning before fixing any routes. Consequently, it becomes more challenging to make changes considering you have to go through a tedious and painstaking process to align the system with the requirements.

In a Nutshell

Slowly, most entities are adopting SD-WANs as opposed to traditional MPLS. Cost-cutting is the primary reason almost everyone is opting to pick the former over the latter. However, efficiency is another contributing factor to changing company owners’ minds, one at a time. Nevertheless, entities can merge both options to get optimum service without losing one over the other.