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Friday, 27 August 2010

What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

What is Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
            It is a network that provides inter-connectivity to exchange information among various entities that belong to the VPN.  It is private; it has all the characteristics of private network.  A closed community of authorized users, allowing them to access various network-related services & resources.  The traffic originating & terminating within a private network traverses only those nodes that belong to the private network.  There is traffic isolation.  The traffic corresponding to this private network does not affect nor is it affected by other traffic extraneous to the private network.  It is virtual.  A virtual topology is built upon an

existing, shared physical network infrastructure.  The act of configuring & creating a virtual private network is known as virtual private networking.

            The date being sent is encrypted for confidentiality.  The link in which the private date is encapsulated or encrypted is known as a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

            A VPN connection allows connecting in a secure fashion to a remote corporate server using the routing infrastructure provided by public internetwork. The data is being sent over a dedicated private link.  VPN logically operates as a wide areas network (WAN) link between the sites.

VPN creates a private means for communication between geographically distributed locations.
  • Drive for improved productivity and reduced costs by companies.
  • Need for recruiting and retaining talent located outside the confines of the local geographical area.

Why VPNs are so popular today?
There is an assured level of performance associated with the network.  Such assurances come with a price.
  • Networks are not cheap to plan & deploy.
  • Dedicated links take time to install.  It take about 60 to 90 days to install & activate a dedicated link such a long waiting period adversely affects the company’s ability to react to the quick changes in the these areas.
  • Another recent trend is the mobility of today’s work force.  Portable computing facilities such as laptops & palm-based devices have made it easy for people to work without being physically present in their offices.  This also makes less investment into real estate.
  • To support the increase in home offices, companies need to provide a reliable IT infrastructure so employees can access company information from remote locations.

The advantages of VPN are:
  • A VPN facilitates an agile IT infrastructure.
  • Global VPNs enable connectivity to all locations anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of dedicated links.
  • VPN services enable remote access to the Intranet at significantly lower cost, thus enabling support for a mobile workforce.
  • The VPN architecture supports a reliable authentication mechanism to provide easy access to the Intranet from anywhere using any available access media including analog modems, ISDN, cable modems, ISDN, DSL & wireless.

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