VPN - Virtual Private Network  
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private network implemented over common network infrastructure. Data is transferred across the network using tunnels or secure virtual paths. In essence, a VPN creates a secure extension of an enterprise network across a public network.

Network Enablers has worked with a wide range of enterprise and service provider clients to understand their needs and develop cost-effective VPN solutions.

VPN Diagram
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In the past, most businesses interconnected their LANs using traditional private networking services from telecommunications providers, such as leased lines, Frame Relay and ATM. These services are perceived to be both expensive and inflexible, and beyond the reach of SMEs. Today, many of these businesses are migrating to VPN solutions in order to reduce costs, increase service opportunities and increase the value of the network as a business assets.

VPNs create opportunities to increase productivity, efficiency and profitability. Increasingly businesses are adopting distributed client/server applications such as e-mail, intranets and web-based CRM and ERP tools. These applications are simpler to deploy, more flexible, easier to use, and reduce total cost of ownership as compared to their legacy mainframe predecessor.

But as companies become more reliant on these mission-critical applications, increased pressure is placed on the end-to-end network performance. Simultaneously, this causes systems architecture and inter-site traffic flow paradigms shifts. These factors combine to create major driving forces and opportunities behind VPN adoption.

Business drivers for VPNs:
Multi-site connectivity
Distributed client/server applications
Citrix and terminal services
Centralised application hosting and storage
Voice & data convergence
B2B e-commerce
Outsourced network administration & maintenance
Seamless, secure, reliable, technology-independent access
Increased bandwidth

As companies become increasingly reliant on new distributed applications they discover a number of factors that challenge their expectations.

Cost-effectiveness heavily influences the return on investment of your VPN project. But hidden costs in downtime, loss of productivity, security breaches, customer satisfaction and confidence can create huge business losses. You must know what your current operating costs are, have clear expectations on just how much a VPN will cost to implement, and understand the impacts of cost trade-offs against the various technology options.

Interoperability can present many unforeseen pitfalls. Vendors have implemented different tunnelling, encryption and authentication protocols, while problems can occur between public and private IP addressing schemes. Making sure and testing that the routers, firewalls, IPSec gateways and certificate authorities all work together can be a challenging experience.

QoS problems vary depending on the degree of control you have over resource allocation and traffic prioritisation. The challenge is to ensure applications have sufficient response times and service levels to meet their performance criteria or importance to the business. QoS must be designed in, monitored and validated via service level guarantees set in SLAs.

Security concerns have increased as mission-critical traffic migrates to IP networks. This data needs to be kept confidential, secure and protected to avoid breaches, theft, viruses and attacks. Securing the network perimeter requires careful attention along with security features such as firewalls, IDS, virus scanning and strong encryption.

Client management of VPN performance is a significant challenge for network administrators. A customer network management service like Net Perspective is a must to gain visibility across your VPN domain and to monitor availability, integrity, faults and performance statistics.

Challenges to successful VPN deployment:
Client Management

Network Enablers has delivered a wide variety of CPE- and Network-based VPN solutions tailored to address the unique needs of our clients.

Our VPN solutions are designed to establish reliable, secure IP connectivity between office locations in ways that maximise our client's utility and investment in enterprise equipment and telecommunications services.

Some of our VPN technology options at our disposal include:
CPE- or Network-based VPNs
Layer-2 (FR/ATM), Layer-2/3 (tunnel), or Layer-3 (IP-VPNs/MPLS-VPNs)
Internet VPNs based on Firewall technology
Access independent connectivity, sourced from multiple telcos
QoS tuning and traffic shaping
Redundancy/diversity to suit your requirements
Security mechanisms from managed firewalls to certificate authorities
Management tools to monitor VPN performance

We provide the full range of services necessary for turnkey VPN integration, including:
Architecture & design
Migration planning
Installation & configuration
Cutover & testing
Ongoing support, maintenance & performance monitoring

Our Managed VPN solutions include options for 24x7 onsite maintenance to ensure maximum uptime, management tools for proactive monitoring, real-time statistics on device status and link utilisation, as well as remote fault detection, response and resolution, independent of service provider or equipment.

We have built low-cost Internet VPNs using the following tunnelling protocols:

Our VPN solutions keep your sensitive business information confidential and secure. We have considerable experience designing a wide variety of VPNs that are cost-effective, reliable, interoperable, secure and scaleable.

Network Enablers provides a single-point of integration for Managed VPN solutions bundled together with ongoing support services.

To learn more about Network Enablers VPN solutions or how we can help you design, build, implement and manage a VPN customised to suit your requirements, contact us today.




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Last updated: 9/01/09