With a world full of growing technology, there is a constant need to increase the span of networks to allow communication in every corner of the world. The global volume of data in the world continues to grow with a pressing need to disseminate it to nearby and faraway places.

Network and communication

With this urgency came the challenge of recognizing the fastest networking systems to allow data to transfer smoothly and quickly. But how can it be done without any new innovations in the networking field? Allow us to introduce you to the commander of the networks – EVPN and its comrades – MPLS and VXLAN.

Overview of EVPN

EVPN or Ethernet Virtual Private Network is one of the most popular control planes in today’s networks as it not only provides Layer 2 services but Layer 3 VPN as well. It also provides multitudes of benefits of VPN for enterprise networks.

It aids in establishing seamless and secure connectivity between diverse data centers located across multiple local area networks and wide-area networks. Moreover, it also increases the flexibility and scalability of virtual network overlay.

EVPN network flow

When it was first introduced, it came with the MPLS data plane but after that, EVPN VXLAN became the most commonly used coupled technology, especially in data center networks. Now the question that arises here is, “What’s better? MPLS or VXLAN?”

In this post, we will look at some basics of MPLS and VXLAN data planes in EVPN deployments and find out which is more suitable for networks.


EVPN Multi-Protocol Label Switching has been around in the market of networking since the 1990s. It was first introduced in RFC 7432, BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) MPLS-Based Ethernet VPN. In EVPN, MAC Learning between the PE devices happens not in the data plane (In VPLS it is in the data plane), but in the control plane.


Here, the PE(Provider Edge) devices advertise the MAC addresses learned from the CE(Customer Edge) devices, which are connected to them, along with an MPLS label to the other PEs, over the MP-BGP control plane.

Benefits of EVPN MPLS

Control-plane learning offers better control over the MAC learning process, for example, you can restrict what to advertise on which device. One can also apply a better policy as the BGP is our control plane in EVPN. 

Control-plane learning enables load balancing of traffic to and from CEs that are multihomers to multiple PE devices.

Connecting multiple end points and finding the best route

This is, in addition, to load balancing across the MPLS core network via multiple LSPs  – Label Switched Paths, it allows CE devices to connect to multiple active points of attachment. It also improves convergence times in the event of a link or node failure.

EVPN over MPLS offers an efficient and effective use of resources by utilizing them in the best possible way to find the fastest route to transfer data files.


Introduced in RFC 8365, EVPN over VXLAN i.e., Virtual Extensible LAN is the latest technology that uses VXLAN encapsulation to transfer data packets throughout the networks. It is a virtual technology that creates a virtualized Layer 2 infrastructure over a Layer 3 network. It enables users to extend their network across different sites.


Many data center operators, if not all, don’t want to deploy MPLS in their networks. Traditionally, from day one, VXLAN was targeted for the data centers, and the DC operators deployed it with or without control planes. 

It is used in many campus networks as well. And we are even seeing some vendor preparatory solutions, such as Cisco’s SDA – Software-Defined access, which uses VXLAN for the Campus or DC networks, as a data plane.

Benefits of EVPN-VXLAN 

Being a virtualized network, it offers higher scalability allowing the users to increase the span of their network. 

The flexibility that comes with deploying EVPN over VXLAN is something to talk about. It has the ability to support various network topologies and overcome dynamic network changes and requirements.

Easier network management

The deployment of this particular network is quicker than most. It has a simple infrastructure that allows easier management which reduces the overall operational costs.

The common problem that was stopping most of the traditional networks like FabricPath was that they were associated with a single vendor. This became the chance for VXLAN to shine as a multivendor-associated network solution.

A Quick Recap of MPLS vs. VXLAN

Differences between EVPN over MPLS and EVPN over VXLAN

DeploymentTakes timeSimple and Easier
ProsHigh performance, ReliabilityScalability, Flexibility
ConsComplex infrastructure, Hard to manageNot used everywhere
Best cases of useHigh-performance applications, Service providing networksCloud networks, Business networks


There is tight competition among the two deployment methods of EVPN – MPLS and VXLAN. MPLS is a traditional network that has been in the networking market for decades. It has its own advantages of being in practice for so long. 

But VXLAN, being an IP-based overlay encapsulation, became quite popular in a short period of time. It overpowered all the limitations that were stopping other networking methods from coming to the top. A greater span of network is just what everyone needed, and VXLAN gave just that. 

Overall, although VXLAN is currently the most popular encapsulation in the world, MPLS still ranks first in being the most deployed method of networking. It all depends on you and the requirements of your business. Analyze the pros and cons and find the best one for yourself.