We had a conference call with a potential client today that is interested in an MPLS network for their twenty offices in the USA and Canada.  As usual, I asked them “why”? “Our network performance is poor and we understand MPLS is the best for WANs”.

After a series of questions, I learned that this company does a large amount of file transfers from their many offices to the central data center.  No interactive apps.  No video.  No voice. They use Cisco hardware VPNs over the internet. 

Average file size: 60Mbps

Typical bandwidth per office: T1

Home office bandwidth: 15Mbps

Can you see where this is going?  Never start the process of building a new network without understanding exactly what is happening on your network today.  Would MPLS with the same bandwidth help this company? Probably not.  What do they need?  They need to analyze their network traffic.  This involved packet sniffing and logging with software such as NTOP and MRTG.  If you don’t know how to do this, pay a consulting company such as SD-WAN-Experts to do it for you.

How can you cost justify paying a consultant?  Because you will end up with the network you really need and pay no more than you should.  Overprovisioning is easy, but expensive.  Underprovisioning will make you or your carrier look bad.  Get the help to do the job correctly.  We may be the SD-WAN-Experts, but we tell many of our clients to use internet VPN with the correct bandwidth if that is what their applicaton requirements suggest.