MPLS in the Cloud: A Powerful Foundation for Cloud-Based Applications and Services

Organizations are using cloud applications to improve customer experience and operating efficiency. They are upgrading existing data centers and developing new ones to support these technologies.

However, many companies need help migrating their applications to the cloud. 

High Bandwidth and QoS

One of the main reasons many companies continue to invest in MPLS is because it offers high bandwidth and quality of service (QoS). This makes it ideal for applications that require reliable connections with low latency, such as cloud-based telephony.

Unlike other types of networks, MPLS provides guaranteed bandwidth and speed so that network traffic is always delivered to its destination without getting lost or delayed. This is especially important for mission-critical cloud applications, where performance issues can result in decreased productivity or loss of data.

MPLS’s QoS capabilities also help ensure quality performance for cloud-based applications by enabling enterprises to prioritize certain data types over others. This is known as class of service (CoS). It allows them to avoid a scenario where an employee’s massive file transfer causes a hiccup in a crucial conference call or other business-critical application.

While some experts predict that SD-WAN will eventually kill MPLS, this will unlikely happen anytime soon. The two technologies can coexist and even work together. 

Prioritization of Traffic

Like an expert map-maker, the MPLS network method identifies the most efficient routes, or network “roads,” to get from point A to point B. This makes routing data packets to their destinations much more efficient than sending each packet to every router. This capability helps ensure that real-time applications, such as voice and video calls, experience minimal latency, while non-real-time applications receive a higher priority.

When it comes to cloud networking, this level of reliability is critical. Employees can only afford to have their productivity hampered by applications that freeze or respond. When information is being pushed to the cloud, you also want to ensure security policies are consistently applied no matter where data comes from.

An MPLS VPN enables organizations to prioritize certain types of traffic, a feature known as Class of Service (CoS). This is especially important for businesses relying on cloud services for mission-critical applications, such as enterprise resource planning and sales force automation. With CoS, you can dictate that these applications should have a high priority so they will always be delivered quickly and without jitter or latency issues.

Some organizations may eliminate their MPLS infrastructure and use direct Internet connections between branch offices and the corporate data center. This approach has its advantages, including a more cost-effective connectivity solution. However, it presents challenges when deploying and managing a secure firewall at each location. Another option is to augment an existing MPLS environment with an SD-WAN. This software-defined vast area network can optimize branch networking decisions by determining the best transport method for each packet based on application, networking, and bandwidth requirements.

Scalability and Flexibility

As the cloud expands, enterprises need more flexibility and connectivity between their on-premises data centers and cloud-based SaaS and IaaS solutions. MPLS can provide a secure and private connection configured with individual applications’ specific QoS and routing requirements. This will help ensure that time-sensitive traffic, such as video streaming or VoIP calls, is delivered without interruption or delay and that mission-critical applications are prioritized over nonurgent data.

Read also The Benefits of Google Cloud Security for Enterprise Organizations

The technology is scalable and critical to larger enterprises with multiple locations and regional offices. In these situations, the network can be augmented with low-cost broadband Internet connections to unlock spare capacity and increase bandwidth for business applications that require it. MPLS can also be paired with SD-WAN, which dynamically routes traffic by business priorities and application performance to reduce costs, maximize bandwidth, and meet quality of service (QoS) requirements.

Lastly, MPLS can be complemented with a managed circuit to the cloud, enabling businesses to offload web traffic over the Internet and allow the MPLS to carry only the traffic headed for the office, freeing up bandwidth and allowing business applications to run more efficiently. This can be an affordable solution for smaller organizations that want to leverage the advantages of MPLS while taking advantage of the flexible, scalable connectivity offered by SD-WAN.


Whether connecting to cloud-based applications or on-premises data, connections must deliver high performance and reliability that ensure end users have a positive experience. With MPLS, businesses can achieve this. The protocol creates a private virtual network that provides reliable, consistent connectivity. It also uses the concept of class of service to prioritize traffic. Critical data travels ahead of less important data, ensuring key business processes operate without interruption or slowdowns.

As more and more work moves to the cloud, security is a growing concern for enterprises. However, the good news is that MPLS can also help secure data in the cloud. Because the technology creates a private network, only authorized data can reach its intended destination. This eliminates the potential for sensitive information to leak to unauthorized parties.

In addition, MPLS can help secure traffic originating from the Internet by blocking insecure protocols and protecting against threats that may be introduced at the network’s edge. The result is a secure cloud environment that helps to meet regulatory and privacy requirements for data.

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