Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get numerous opinions on the affordability of MPLS. Has it reached the point where MPLS is now a viable option for small and medium-sized businesses or are there better options? Let’s take a peek around the IT world to examine the affordability of MPLS.
According to an article published on PCWorld, MPLS is indeed a viable option for SMBs because “MPLS has now reached a level of maturity.” Though the author made several points about the advantages of MPLS for SMBs, he never really articulated how that level of maturity translates to affordability. According to the article, “For companies that are still operating separate voice and data networks, MPLS presents a significant opportunity for network consolidation – and the resulting cost savings.” This may be the case. However, there are more affordable ways to consolidate networks and reel in those cost savings.
A couple of years ago, Network World published an article that examined the high costs of MPLS. The author detailed several reasons why he believes that MPLS is so expensive (and those reasons are still relevant today):
- The last mile RBOC/PTT monopoly
- Few choices in providers (just AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the US)
- Risk averse WAN buyers
- Lowering prices hasn’t resulted in increased sales volume and revenue, so providers don’t lower prices
- The public Internet has not gotten reliable enough and likely won’t
- Carriers are milking the FR/MPLS cash cow
While some may say that MPLS is a viable option for SMBs, and some may say it’s too expensive, others are content to leave that dispute — and MPLS — behind. Better alternatives to MPLS have been developed. According to Aryaka, a provider of WAN Optimization as a Service and Cloud Network as a Service solutions, its solutions deliver optimized performance, faster deployments, superior performance over long distances, elastic capacity and burstability, and lower costs than MPLS-based VPN.
Despite what some may argue, MPLS is not an affordable solution to ensuring reliable and high quality bandwidth. MPLS may be “mature,” but it’s not necessarily the best or most affordable option for SMBs.
- PCWorld, “Why MPLS is now a viable and sensible option for SMBs” www.pcworld.com/article/2825494/why-mpls-is-now-a-viable-and-sensible-option-for-smbs.html
- Aryaka, “Aryaka Technology vs. MPLS/VPN in US, China, India, and Beyond” http://www.aryaka.com/why-aryaka/7-reasons-to-buy-aryaka/
- Network World, “Why does MPLS cost so much more than Internet connectivity?” http://www.networkworld.com/article/2222196/cisco-subnet/why-does-mpls-cost-so-much-more-than-internet-connectivity-.html