Modernizing Your MPLS Network with Megaport Solutions

Megaport enables a model for enterprise WAN connectivity that can replace services or reduce dependency on traditional MPLS providers. This topic examines options and considerations for modernizing your MPLS network, including:

Although Megaport currently can’t replace all components of an MPLS network, Megaport can replace key parts and provide significant benefits with cost, flexibility, speed of deployment, and scalability. With the right plan, you can design a Megaport/MPLS hybrid solution and then gradually phase out more MPLS components as the Megaport product suite evolves.

Megaport advantages

The advantages of using Megaport Software Defined Network (SDN) instead of MPLS include:

  • Flexibility for optimal pricing. Megaport provides an extremely cost-effective solution compared to MPLS in most markets. At any time, you can add or delete services or adjust bandwidth for connections. This ensures you always have the right price, you can easily scale as your business grows, and you only pay for what you need. To take full advantage of the flexibility, you can implement tools to adjust connection speeds as needed and get the full benefit of the elastic Megaport network.

  • Free of long-term contracts. Megaport connections do not require long-term contracts, so you don’t have to predict traffic profiles for years at a time or get locked into a commitment for a specific topology.

  • Speed of deployment. You can add and delete connections within minutes through the Megaport Portal or API.

  • Consistent latency. Direct Layer 2 connections provide consistent latency and, in many cases, lower latency between locations, improving overall performance and increasing throughput.

  • No risk. With no contracts and no long-term commitments to traffic profile estimates for the next several years, using Megaport lets you manage your network carefully and make adjustments as your business needs change. You are never locked into a long-term commitment or price.

  • Dependability. Each Megaport data center has two or more diverse fiber connections into the Megaport global backbone network, and each VXC is protected by all available fiber paths at the data center. Each connection automatically fails over to the next.

Considerations

There are some considerations when thinking about Megaport solutions with an MPLS network:

  • Dealing with multiple providers and data center operators. With MPLS, you often commit to a contract with a single network provider. But the all-or-nothing MPLS relationship has real limitations that restrict you to a single network with a fixed, hardware-based configuration, reducing your growth options. While switching providers is not the easiest task, and adding Megaport introduces a new customer-provider relationship, you gain the advantage of Megaport’s cloud service provider (CSP) agnostic approach to large-scale interconnection using dynamic connections.

  • Challenging to connect Megaport to MPLS circuits. It can be difficult to terminate a connection from a Port to a carrier MPLS interface. MPLS providers have control of the router and are often resistant to adding Megaport details to the router and allowing access for Megaport traffic. Whether or not your MPLS provider will cooperate with Megaport needs to be a consideration in the design.

  • Procuring the last mile. One of the biggest challenges in moving from MPLS to SDN is procuring, managing, and paying for the “last mile” connectivity. See Next steps with SD-WAN.

Current solutions

Megaport supports hybrid networks for modular network design where you can easily deploy and manage Ports, Megaport Cloud Routers (MCR), and Virtual Cross Connects (VXCs) and integrate them with existing network infrastructure.

Connectivity between data centers

With Megaport, you can easily connect multiple sites and data centers and replace this part of your MPLS WAN. Megaport provides extensive connectivity between data centers around the globe and can reduce costs and improve performance for connections between data centers. This connectivity model builds on SDN principles and supports a more agile, on-demand approach instead of long-term, fixed-price contracts.

By using Ports (physical ports in Megaport-enabled data centers) and VXCs, you can replace traditional point-to-point links and easily establish a secure, reliable connection between any of the global Megaport enabled locations.

You can connect two or twenty data centers, set up a hub-and-spoke model, or create a fully meshed network.

Data center connectivity

For more information about Ports and VXCs:

Megaport Cloud Router (MCR)

MCR is a managed virtual router service that establishes Layer 3 connectivity on the worldwide Megaport software-defined network (SDN).

Incorporating MCR into your network design lets you manage routing decisions. MCRs don’t require a physical cross connect, letting you configure them close to your data sources to minimize latency and interconnect to Ports or CSPs using VXCs.

MCR can be inserted as a hub to route traffic to multiple ports throughout the network, which optimizes traffic and reduces latency and bandwidth costs.

MCRs with Cloud Service Providers

MCR provides a smart way to integrate your cloud strategy with your existing MPLS network. As a virtual routing service, MCR can solve the complexities and costs that come with connecting your MPLS network to CSPs.

You can add MCR as a node, or multiple nodes, on your existing MPLS network. MCR sits on top of the Megaport SDN at Layer 3 to provide a point-to-multipoint connection model and serve as a hub between CSPs.

Your MPLS provider must support a single peer to MCR from their Provider Edge (PE) device.

MCRs with CSPs

For more information about MCR cloud configurations:

MCRs as regional hubs

You can use MCR as the primary connection point for regional branch offices, CSPs, and data centers. In this hub-and-spoke design, MCR provides the hub and connects to spokes that are organized into regions based on proximity.

The MCR hub connects your regional branches, CSPs, and data centers and VXCs connect the regional MCRs.

MCR as a regional hub

For more information about MCR:

Next steps with SD-WAN

A current challenge for Megaport is branch office connectivity. Current Megaport services don’t cover the “last mile” and don’t provide the connection into your office.

The announced Megaport Virtual Edge (MVE) product will support replacing more MPLS functionality and will let you use Megaport to manage the connection between the customer branch and the data center. Customers no longer need to be in a multi-tenant data center to take advantage of Megaport’s interconnection capabilities. IP transit gateway functionality enables internet-connected locations to access the Megaport SDN.

For more information about MVE:


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