Ninety-two percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Silver Peak and IDG still use MPLS for half to all of their branch office communication. But 81 percent of respondents anticipate that 75-100 percent of their connectivity will be broadband-based within two years.
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) vendor Silver Peak and the independent research group IDG Connect, conducted the survey of 160 IT professionals at enterprises with more than 1,000 employees and with remote branch offices. These enterprises were not Silver Peak customers.
The surveyors found that today, only 27 percent of respondents had implemented SD-WAN; however, 92 percent expect to do so within the next 12 months.
“One interesting thing was the large number of enterprises that expect to have broadband-based WANs,” says John Vincenzo, chief marketing officer at Silver Peak. “A big number of people said they will still have MPLS but want to move to a broadband base.”
Gripes about MPLS include:
- High cost (38% of respondents)
- No direct connection to cloud apps (14%)
- Too complex to configure (13%)
- Unreliable performance (13%)
- Too long to provision branch offices (11%)
- Too much infrastructure needed at branch (11%)
While perhaps not happy with MPLS, 34 percent of respondents indicated they were held back from new WAN technologies because of their existing MPLS contracts. But as those contracts expire, they will look to SD-WAN.
However, even with this move toward SD-WAN the survey finds that MPLS will not go away. Many companies run, and will continue to operate, a hybrid environment where, for example, traffic such as voice and video use MPLS links and all other traffic uses broadband links.
Today, 92 percent of companies have multiple connections to their branch offices, most commonly MPLS and either broadband or LTE – but are not using them through SD-WAN, thus not reaping benefits such as traffic optimization.
Enterprises do need to be convinced that SD-WAN will meet their needs. When asked what concerns them about switching to broadband, 68 percent of respondents cited security concerns and 53 percent said reliability concerns.