In the ever-evolving landscape of networking technologies, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) have emerged as formidable contenders. While some might perceive them as competitors, we want to shed light on the fact that MPLS and SD-WAN can, in fact, complement each other. In this article, we’ll explore how these technologies can coexist to create a robust and efficient network infrastructure.

MPLS: Streamlining Data Traffic

MPLS, short for Multiprotocol Label Switching, is a routing technique that revolutionizes data traffic management. Unlike traditional routing methods, MPLS labels packets based on their priority, allowing for a more streamlined and efficient flow of data. MPLS also assigns specific paths to packets based on their priority order, ensuring that critical data takes the fastest route possible. Notably, MPLS operates at Layer 2 rather than Layer 3, further enhancing its efficiency.

SD-WAN and MPLS: A Synergistic Relationship

While MPLS and SD-WAN share similarities as WAN transmission technologies, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can work seamlessly together to create a versatile and reliable network infrastructure. Here’s how:

  1. Support for MPLS: SD-WAN solutions, such as Livewire’s RazorLink SD-WAN, can support MPLS connectivity as an underlying transport option. This means that organizations can leverage their existing MPLS networks alongside SD-WAN to ensure mission-critical traffic receives the dedicated, high-priority path offered by MPLS.
  2. Traffic Prioritization: SD-WAN excels at intelligent traffic management. It can designate mission-critical traffic to travel over the MPLS connection, ensuring that these vital data packets receive top priority, while less critical traffic can be routed over other cost-effective connections.

Livewire’s RazorLink SD-WAN

Livewire Digital’s RazorLink SD-WAN is a testament to the synergy between MPLS and SD-WAN. Designed to address hybrid networking challenges, RazorLink SD-WAN has a proven track record in providing hybrid satellite and cellular SD-WAN networking in demanding maritime and vehicular environments, as well as across diverse global architectures.

Key Features of RazorLink SD-WAN:

  1. Resilience: The SD-WAN fabric is highly resilient to underlay degradation and failure. Single TCP connections are maintained and accelerated, regardless of underlay availability and performance.
  2. Traffic Scheduling: RazorLink Smart Networking Protocol (SNP) handles traffic scheduling with packet-by-packet intelligence and control, ensuring optimized network utilization under changing link conditions.
  3. Application Control: Advanced traffic classification and underlay management enable applications to be allocated to specific bonded underlay networks seamlessly.
  4. Real-Time Data: A rich data set from the SNP protocol allows for advanced control over Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic-steering policies, ensuring comprehensive assurance data.
  5. Scalability: RazorLink SD-WAN is scalable from micro ARM-based systems to data center server farms, offering an elastic fabric with no arbitrary scaling limits.


In conclusion, MPLS and SD-WAN are not adversaries but rather complementary technologies that can enhance the overall network experience. Leveraging MPLS alongside SD-WAN, organizations can achieve the best of both worlds – the prioritized, reliable connectivity of MPLS and the intelligent traffic management and cost-efficiency of SD-WAN. Livewire Digital’s RazorLink SD-WAN is a testament to this harmonious partnership, providing a robust and resilient network solution for even the most challenging environments.

To learn more about how RazorLink SD-WAN can transform your network infrastructure, please click here.