Here’s how enterprise VPN might evolve and why

We’ve seen a surge in interest specifically around enterprises requesting more private network infrastructure through IP VPN. Traditionally, remote VPN has run over a public internet service, however as businesses look to outsource to the cloud and support flexible working they’re requesting hybrid tunnelling infrastructure. 

For example, if someone is working from home or a business is managing multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, they would potentially use VPN tunnelling to join a corporate network through IP VPN. Most businesses have three motivations when choosing an IP VPN network.

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Motivations when choosing an IP VPN network

The first is guaranteed service performance. With a private network, a business can access dedicated performance metrics that provide assurances that the service will perform. When using the public internet, for example through a standard VPN, you won’t have the same levels of guaranteed performance.

Secondly, businesses want the ability to prioritise applications in order to glean the maximum bandwidth. 

For example, in a LAN environment there are 64 different markings you can use for your application traffic, if email and web surfing are low on your priority list and Skype for Business is high you can ensure the more crucial applications gets the bandwidth they require while the less critical applications use lesser capacity.

Lastly, IP VPN services offers security and privacy. Businesses can rest assured that with IP VPN, no critical applications or data are being sent across the public internet, making the need for encryption irrelevant. 

For the CFO of a business, VPNs offer fixed costs over an agreed period of time and usage-based models that are more software and license driven.

For example, a business would pay a three-year contract for a fixed environment, and every change made to the network accrues additional costs. 

What’s more the business is beholden to the time frames that the service provider can complete the change in. In response to this, we’ve seen some providers offer more self-control with a bundle, giving a certain number of free changes.

For businesses who have a large deployment base, SD-WAN can run VPN features, improving customer experience and enabling a business to blend the connectivity that they currently use. This changes the game in terms of purchasing.

As models shift to a more on-demand approach and less of a reliance on hardware, VPNs and IP VPN providers need to be more agile. 

IP VPNs also offer security in terms of virtual firewalls and can be paired with optional DDoS protection, IDS and IDP services and will have a renewed emphasis on defining policy among service providers in terms of rigorous building and maintenance of the solution. Everything must be tested and a rapid response team in place to mitigate any risks that arise.

Jeff Smith is the Head of Product Development at SSE Enterprise Telecoms.