Combining MPLS with SD-WAN


I’d like to keep my existing MPLS network and only use SD-WAN for new sites. Can I combine both network technologies?

The challenge

Your company might have a legacy MPLS network that is up and running and working correctly. You might also have existing contracts with your access provider that will continue to run for few more years. But you might also need to add new branch offices to your network or want to move some already existing connections to cheaper high-bandwidth Internet links now and want to do this with a new technology that is innovative and built to last longer. In other words, you would like to migrate progressively to SD-WAN, over time, while simultaneously keeping your existing MPLS network up and running for the time being.

The solution

ngena offers a progressive migration plan and different options to add new sites, while keeping your legacy MPLS networks up and running at the same time. Thanks to ngena’s Network-to-Network-Interfaces (NNI) with alliance partners, both networks can be coupled with each other to run in parallel. NNI is implemented by means of a physical interface that connects two or more networks, defines inter-signaling, and is able to run management processes.

In addition to NNI, ngena offers an MPLS VPN Interconnection service that enables connectivity between a ngena VPN service and an existing legacy MPLS VPN for an individual customer network. This interworking approach is referred to as »CE-CE coupling«. This will not only allow your company to seamlessly utilize the ngena network in conjunction with an existing MPLS network, but will also provide the basis for a smooth migration from your old MPLS networks to new hybrid SD-WAN services. In this connectivity model, one CPE will be connected to the ngena VPN network, and another CPE will be connected to the existing MPLS VPN network. The preferred location of the two CPEs is at a customer’s site.

Your benefits

  • ngena offers a progressive migration plan which allows combining MPLS with SD-WAN technology. Your company can keep its existing MPLS network, while at the same time adding new sites using ngena’s innovative SD-WAN technology.
  • With the help of Network-to-Network-Interface and CE-CE coupling, companies can realize interworking between a ngena enabled SD-WAN and one or more MPLS networks.
  • However, the full financial and operational benefits of running an SD-WAN solution are only realized once the entire network has been migrated to SDN technology over time, i.e. the best path selection for different applications, full visibility about network performance allowing optimal network capacity management, replacement of existing firewalls and WAN optimization hardware only starts reaping its high service quality and financial benefits once it has been implemented across the entire network, and not just in parts.
With ngena, customers can continue using their existing MPLS technology and still add new sites to their network using the latest SDN technology. In this way, they can progressively change the setup of their network without having to migrate everything at once. This approach gives customers greater flexibility and ensures that the migration process to a new technology is implemented without disrupting your business.”

Jörg Gimmler Head of Operations, ngena

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