Technologies have come and gone throught the last 100 years, even ones that are reliable, and widely used. Has Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) reached that point? Is MPLS heading down the same path as all these other technologies? MPLS may not be on its deathbed yet, but it is facing some heavy competition from its competition. Some industry leaders are suggesting that within five years, a good portion of MPLS traffic will have moved to alternative systems. 

According to a recent report,">The 2014 State of the WAN Report, 48.3 percent of surveyed companies expect to increase their reliance on Internet services while just 36.3 percent said the same of MPLS. MPLS isn't necessarily dead, but it's losing market share.  This is due to the fact that traditional approaches such as MPLS and VPN to overcome bandwidth constraints aren't suitable to the cloud age. They are too costly, unscalable, and cannot guarantee performance to an increasingly distributed user base.

Why abandon a perfectly good technology such as MPLS? Because the world has changed how it accesses and stores information. Today's workforce is increasingly global and mobile. People access their data via laptops, mobile phones, and tablets whenever they are away from the office. Traffic patterns have changed as a result. In addition, traffic has moved from private data centers to cloud-based applications. These two fundamental shifts are causing Internet traffic to grow rapidly, and MPLS isn't as well suited to handle the changing scenario as its newer competitors.

For starters, MPLS is expensive when compared to other alternatives. Allowing a surge in traffic to continue over MPLS connections is cost prohibitive, especially now that cost-effective alternatives such as network-as-a-service exist. MPLS also struggles to perform across large geographic distances, particularly oceans, and it can takes months to deploy MPLS. All of these factors are contributing to its downfall.

According to Aryaka Networks, WAN Optimization as-a-Service can go head-to-head against MPLS and come out the clear winner. WAN Optimization as-a-Service offers the following benefits over MPLS:

  • Optimized for predictable, global application performance that's connected via a private core network to provide reliable enterprise-grade global connectivity.
  • Comapnies can easily deploy these systems and in a shorter amount of time (in most cases, mere minutes simply by connecting to the network).
  • Allows comapnies to increase or decrease capacity on demand.
  • Costs are significantly lower when compared to MPLS because users are only paying for what they use.
  • Reliable access to cloud-based applications and services.
  • 24/7 Support for WAN Optimizaiton-as-a-Service is always helpful.


MPLS has served its purpose over the years, but the business world has changed dramatically as the new era of the mobile workforce continues to grow. The way we use, store, and access data is no longer limited to the corporate data center. MPLS simply doesn't handle these changes as well as solutions designed specifically to address large volumes of global traffic. Is your company still using MPLS or has it made the switch to WAN optimization? Please let us know in the comments.