MPLS vs. Ethernet: Which WAN connectivity option is best?
|Cost||MPLS typically costs more than Ethernet but less than T1 lines.||Ethernet is typically more affordable than MPLS.|
|Scalability||MPLS can scale to over thousands of sites.||Ethernet can scale to up to hundreds of sites.|
|Common applications||MPLS is best and most widely used to interconnect data centers with branch offices and branches to other branches.||Ethernet is best for interconnecting data centers.|
|WAN routing||MPLS allows businesses to leave WAN routing to the service provider and keep fewer WAN engineers on staff.||Ethernet gives WAN engineers control and responsibility over routing.|
|WAN protocol behavior||MPLS can handle any-to-any connectivity, including voice and video.||Ethernet offers low-latency and high-throughput, which is ideal for disaster recovery.|
|Quality of service||MPLS has quality of service (QoS) options to enable preferential treatment of latency-sensitive traffic like VoIP.||Network engineers can bypass QoS complexity by hooking switches directly to Ethernet pipes.|
|Service level agreements||MPLS services come with service-level agreements (SLAs) that include delivery guarantees, unlike consumer broadband.||IT professionals should either ask for an SLA for their Ethernet service or take WAN application delivery into their own hands.|
|WAN management||Using MPLS for WAN connectivity requires that all network devices and management tools be compatible with both MPLS and Ethernet.||Because LANs use Ethernet, using Ethernet for the WAN gives organizations an all-Ethernet infrastructure, which simplifies network management.|
|Availability||Many service providers offer MPLS services in some metropolitan areas, but not everywhere.||Ethernet exchanges have made Ethernet WAN services available in more locations.|
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