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Networking Unplugged

Perspectives on cloud networking and software-defined WANs

Posted February 12, 2014
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The Evolution of VPN

For years, networks have been an integral part of the business world, but they're becoming even more important with the rise of the mobile workforce. Ubiquitous computing and Internet-capable tablets allow modern workers to stay connected even when they're miles away from the office. Thanks to the Internet, roaming employees are able to access in-house files, applications and other critical information to help them to do their jobs. That said, with this ability comes the need to keep data secure.

In the late 1970s, early PC-based Local Area Networks, or LANs, moved into the academic world. There were numerous variants, including Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) that covered college campuses, and Wide Area Networks (WANs) for university-to-university communication. As computers became a critical part of the corporate world, businesses needed networking solutions too, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were the practical choice for delivering secure access to an organization's network.

In essence, traditional VPN worked, and continues to work, by using the shared public infrastructure while providing privacy through tunneling protocols. The data is encrypted at the sending end and decrypted at the receiving end. Additional security involves encrypting the receiving and originating network addresses. Ultimately, the point is to allow users to connect with critical information and each other without exposing any data or communications to prying eyes.

It all worked fine, but traditional hardware-based VPNs are expensive and time-consuming to set up, configure, maintain, and upgrade. As workers go mobile and companies shift workloads to the cloud, it is natural for networking to follow suit. Backhaul user traffic to a centralized location just so it can be forced through a conga line of boxes for filtering, securing, monitoring and optimization is inefficient and antiquated.  The rise of BYOD (bring your own device) is also complicating things, since Windows-centric management and security paradigms don't extend to tablets, smartphones and Macs.

As the networking landscape continues to shift, VPN must evolve. And, that's exactly what's happening. As modern businesses grapple with headaches and overhead expenses related to hardware-based VPN, a growing number are finding relief in the cloud. Pertino provides simple cloud networking with secure end-to-end data encryption. Within minutes, IT pros can create virtual cloud networks and add users by downloading the Pertino app on their devices. New network members have immediate access to the resources they need, no matter where they are.

Change is inevitable. The question is what side of history do you want to be on? By embracing cloud networking, small and medium sized businesses can stay competitive. 


Larry Stein

Larry Stein

Director, Marketing

This is Larry’s fifth startup over the past 15 years, during which he navigated two IPOs and two acquisitions. Before Pertino, Larry served tours of service with Ameritech and data communications training.

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