Integrating Mobile Access into Your VPN Environment
Integrating a variety of access services and devices onto your Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Enterprise Integration Challenges
Expanding the VPN to include multiple access networks and device types bodes well for boosting revenues and productivity. But the IT department will face some integration challenges. For example, IT will likely aim to keep access simple for end-users, which could make it difficult to also ensure that the disparate services conform to a unified security policy. IT departments are also tasked with meeting mobile user expectations for continuous coverage and adequate bandwidth, coordinating billing from several access service suppliers and tracking and managing many disparate remote devices. Often, a global software client or Web-based portal that allows access to the VPN service via multiple access methods can help with ease of use. Depending on your philosophy, you might choose to deploy and manage the software client platform internally or in conjunction with a managed services provider or services aggregator. A service partner can often help unify and manage the billing, settlement and security issues, as well. Let’s look closer at some of the specific issues that arise when bringing new access methods onto your VPN.
Coverage and Capacity
By definition, mobile users can wind up in unpredictable locations, making it particularly challenging to assure that they always have network coverage and adequate bandwidth. For example, for truly mobile users, mobile WAN services – also called cellular or 3G services – offer the broadest coverage. However, today, the highest-speed mobile WAN services are generally available in the fewest locations.