The Case for Replacing MPLS with Cloud-based SD-WAN: A Customer Story

September 28, 2017

One of the great things about Cato Cloud is its ability to simplify environments. By implementing an MPLS alternative, an SLA-backed WAN and by eliminating the stacks of security appliances, bandwidth costs drop and operations become more efficient. It’s a story I’ve heard from so many customers in one way or another, most recently from Kevin McDaid, the systems manager at Fisher & Company.

Fisher & Company is a manufacturer for the automotive industry. The company has 1700 employees spread across eight locations globally, and an instance in Azure. Initially the locations had been connected with MPLS and secured with local appliances.

But like a lot of IT managers, Kevin was pretty fed up when we spoke with the costs and complexities of his MPLS configuration.  The company was spending $27,000 a month for MPLS, $7,000 per month just on a connection from the US to Mexico. And three WAN optimizers meant a one-time outlay of nearly $60,000 with annual renewals of $7,000.

With stacks of appliances, including firewalls, WAN optimizers, and routers, comes complexity and breeding ground for problems. “Our old MPLS provider proposed this very intricate architecture that looked it was from a CCNA test,” he says. “The sites ended up with dual routers running HSRP (the Hot Standby Router Protocol) to load balance traffic between them. But when the protocol failed, so did the location.”

Survivability was a challenge in other ways as well. Backhauling traffic across the MPLS network created a single point of failure. “When the provider’s MPLS router failed, we lost our headquarters and the entire company stopped working,” says Kevin. “I was woken up in the middle of the night on several instances because a fiber cut or power outage had taken down a site, or to get the provider to fix a minor firewall problem.”

Finally, managing the MPLS and security infrastructure was painful. McDaid and his team had to jump between “tons” of management interfaces, he says. They could monitor firewalls and the network, but the provider had to make any changes. “Something as simple as enabling access to a website through our firewall meant having to call support. It was very frustrating.”

See how Fisher used Cato Cloud to reduce costs, improve operations, and so much more with an affordable MPLS alternative.

Read the full case study here

Learn about cloud MPLS – The business case for SD-WAN

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield is a veteran of IT industry. He’s spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and independent technology consultant. Today, he serves as a secure networking evangelist for Cato Networks.