By Stefanie Ryan, Director of Field and Channel Marketing
In 2013, Gartner analysts validated the shift from corporate data centers hosting mission-critical applications to companies moving them to the cloud. Their report titled, “Is MPLS Dead?” illustrates that the range for MPLS adoption has varied from 20% – 80% worldwide and that SaaS and cloud computing are dominating the market. IDC has predicted that by 2020, the penetration for SaaS versus traditional software deployments will be as low as 25%. So why are enterprises still engaging with MPLS providers in contracts that range from two to three years?
Hub-and-spoke network architecture models, widely used by enterprises a decade or two ago, offer solutions that back-haul Internet traffic via the data center or corporate headquarters. Though this model provided a reasonable solution at the time, this design is dated and considered legacy. In today’s world, companies are trending toward the cloud and globalization. Global businesses represent much of the mid-market, cloud and SaaS-based applications are more common than ever; thus, the need for new architecture solutions.
The Enterprise WAN and Globalization
MPLS is not built to handle globalization. For starters, costs add up, especially when trying to connect to China, Brazil, Australia, or India. Additionally, MPLS providers are not global. “Global” MPLS still ends up being MPLS plus point-to-point L2 and L3 links in some areas of the world to provide a network with a mixture of disparate links. This is prohibitively expensive, especially for the mid-market, a segment of the market where MPLS has remained low, and with good reason. It is too expensive and does not provide the high performance that mid-market businesses need at a cost that is justifiable.
The Cloud and MPLS are Not Compatible
MPLS, with its closed network, was not built with the cloud in mind. IT teams are focused on influencing branch-office productivity, which means ensuring a quality end-user experience and avoiding the trombone effect. Connecting point-to-point is MPLS’s best use case. This includes large regional offices, multiple data centers, regional manufacturing facilities, and retail facilities with PoS systems. However, when businesses require integrated cloud access, on-premise access to applications, partners, customers, international offices, remote workers, and more, they need a modern network.
Turning Away From Legacy and Toward the Future
MPLS may not yet be fully dead. However, its position in the marketplace as a viable modern option is eroding. Providers of MPLS will struggle to hold their value, provide customers with managed appliances, and be relevant to the mid-market. Partners need to be able to offer their customers the opportunity to plug the gaps that MPLS providers can no longer fill in a partner’s portfolio.
SD-WAN and MPLS are able to co-exist and provide a hybrid solution, but global SD-WAN can also provide a complete replacement with a private, MPLS-like global network that provides security across and between continents – all without the high costs of MPLS, the multiple providers, and the inflexible architecture.
Stefanie Ryan is the Director of Field and Channel Marketing at Aryaka. She has extensive experience growing and developing marketing strategies targeting the indirect sales channel, and building partner programs.