26,690 million metro-traveling people in the APAC region are serviced in 70 cities over 7,218km of track and 5,200 stations. Europe carries nearly 11,000 million passengers annually on it’s metro systems while Latin America carries almost 6,000m annually. Anyone who has ever experienced a morning commute in Tokyo, Shanghai or Bangkok knows how busy, chaotic and yet reliable most metro or subway stations are.

Each passenger has a starting-point and a destination, and many different options in how they arrive at that destination. Some trains, lines and segments are congested at certain times of day while others have a shorter or longer walk between intersecting train lines or longer than average waits. Passengers make a choice in how they use the metro, avoiding congestion, lines, waits and inconvenient stops – but sometimes finding themselves in exactly these less than ideal situations if they are unlucky.

What is MPLS?
A basic understanding of metro travel is all that is needed to understand the basics of multi-protocol label switching or MLPS. When a command is issued on the internet, an IP packet starts on it’s “metro” trip from router to router – traveling from its origin to its destination IP address. The IP packet carries only is its destination IP address and relies on various “routers” or “metro stations” along the way to determine the best way to get the information from point A (me) to point B. Depending on many different factors, it could take varying amounts of time for the command to reach it’s destination IP address or it could be blocked or even arrive damaged – a disaster for those whose video conferencing or voice service elements are business critical.

MPLS essentially provides pre-determined and more efficient routes for the traveling IP packages and is most often used in branch offices, campuses, and enterprises who need to maintain the quality of service for their real-time applications.

Pros and Cons of MPLS
There are many pros and cons to be aware of. While MPLS is easily scalable, performs well, has good bandwidth utilization and reduces network congestion, MPLS is expensive!  MPLS service must be purchased from a service provider. In addition, most MPLS service providers do not provide global coverage, instead partnering with local vendors – which contributes to even higher costs as each country has different prices and restrictions placed on their internet access.

Moving on to SD-WAN
Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) is designed to apply rules and policies to traffic – sending it along the best path. The biggest benefit of SD-WAN is that while MPLS predetermined routes are complex to set up and change in any way, SD-WAN can be managed by a single technician at a central point. In addition, SD-WAN improves reliability, cloud service access, user application experience and reduces OPEX associated with MPLS.

Sangfor Technologies will be hosting the webinar “What SD-WAN Does Your Network Need,” on May 23rd at 4PM Hong Kong time, prepared to answer questions about market trends, types of SD-WAN and what type of SD-WAN is right for your business. This webinar is fantastic for all those who need to learn the basics or those looking for a solution to your current MPLS problems. Click HERE to register or visit our website!

About Sangfor
Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)) Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at www.sangfor.com for more information on time saving products, services and solutions today and let us help you work optimize, simplify and grow with the times.

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