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Networking Unplugged

Perspectives on cloud networking and software-defined WANs

Posted June 25, 2014
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A VPC That Gives You the Warm-Fuzzies

One of the best things about building a technology like Pertino is that it helps our customers solve a growing number of problems. It gets even better when they solve problems we didn’t even necessarily have on our radar.

A great example of this customer innovation stemmed from Pertino's always-on connectivity. You see, the Pertino client connects automatically when the host has power-state or network changes. For example, when a laptop is opened, if there is a Pertino client installed, it connects to the network automatically without bothering the user. No login, no network selection, no fuss!

One particular Pertino customer is using many different virtual machines on a cloud provider. Previously, when that provider had an outage or issue, our customer migrated the VMs to a new provider or zone and had to use a variety of tools to get the VMs to find and securely reconnect to the proper network. While there are commercial tools for porting and migrating VMs, these tools couldn't be used in this environment.

For example, to bridge VPN connections on VirtualBox running a Windows host requires setting up two network adapters for bridging: one for NAT, allowing the VM to share the host VPN connection, and another to reach the host since the first IP is behind NAT. Alternatively, the VPN can be put on the router, but that isn’t an option with a cloud provider. When using VMWare, things are a lot easier, but the price tag is quite a bit higher.

Fortunately, our customer was using Pertino in those VMs. When he copied them to their new hosts and brought them up, they automatically reconnected securely to the Pertino network at their new addresses. No additional work was required to migrate the VMs. Similarly, the rest of the network could find the servers at the same DNS. Frankly, he was surprised that the VMs just found home office and reconnected. What should have been hours of work was now automatic.

I think any software engineer gets a big smile when someone tells them that their software solved a problem they hadn’t thought about it solving before. While the use case itself may not be unique, the fact that it was solved so easily gives me the warm-fuzzies.

Interested in learning more about using Pertino to enable your VPC? Linux version options, installation scripts and more available—give it a try for free.

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