Will SDN replace MPLS? Not so fast.
Published: May 30, 2018
Author: Srinivas Poduri
Evolving traffic patterns
Recent technology advances such as media streaming, social media and mobility have generated massive amounts of data that flow into networks from a myriad of devices. Now as IoT, AI and edge computing environments are starting to go live, data volumes are set to become even more massive.
Currently, 2.5 exabytes of data are generated daily, and Cisco estimates data is growing at a 24 percent yearly clip through 2021[i]. Combined, all of the recent and ongoing technology developments—cloud, streaming, IoT, mobility, etc.—have changed how enterprises consume applications and, as a result, also changed bandwidth demands and (WAN) traffic patterns.
As such, enterprises face serious challenges related to scalability, security and network performance. Network traffic is unpredictable and much of it flows from multiple sources dispersed throughout private and public cloud infrastructures as well as data centers.
Scalability limitations and security concerns are more pronounced for enterprises that use multiple vendors to run their networks. Like the reliability of the network itself, security policies and solutions vary from vendor to vendor. For instance, OTP network providers provide security at the application layer because they don’t own the underlying network, so the data they handle can become more vulnerable when crossing network boundaries.
That’s because elements of the underlying networks are managed by multiple service providers that don’t always communicate or collaborate with each other. In contrast, a provider that owns the underlying network infrastructure can design a secure network to meet enterprise needs.