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A VPN Outage Nightmare

A VPN Outage Nightmare

Based on a true story

It’s noon on Friday, and like most workweeks in 2020, your entire team (yourself included) has nearly completed another day working from home.

It has been a tough year…

Virtually overnight you became a remote worker, adjusting to all the nuances of WFH. You equipped your colleagues with laptops and drove your co-workers to start utilizing MS Teams. With hundreds of users VPNing in to access their files, you had to bolster your VPN setup to accommodate the pressure on your local network.

Before March 2020, you raised the idea of moving corporate resources to a Cloud service, but the management team pushed it off, arguing that it was not necessary. You questioned… what if an outage happens and people can’t access their resources? You weren’t allowed to buy a best-of-breed SD-WAN solution. Instead, you were given a mass-market network failover solution to make sure that the office could stay online (provided the bill didn’t exceed $500) but, that was all before the Pandemic.

Fast forward many months later… You’ve done all you could do with the resources allowed. You put in a hard week’s work and are hoping to take the balance of the afternoon off. The internal office environment is calm, as your teammates have all adapted to their telework situation.

Then it happens…

A single notification on your cellphone, a few words that are sure to ruin your afternoon plans – if not your weekend. “Network Outage Notification” – three frightening words, alerting you to the possibility that your entire system may be down.

You rush to your monitor to investigate. Good thing you had planned a failover solution, you think. But in the back of your mind, you start feeling uneasy. You try to connect to your internal resources but can’t establish a session. And then it clicks. Your VPN servers are hosted locally, and your failover isn’t set up for inbound sessions.

And if you can’t… no one can.

Your gut twists in terror, and you feel the tip of your fingers turning cold. You’re white as a sheet, looking at your monitor with empty eyes. Ding! A notification on your phone. A ticket was opened, followed by three others in quick succession, pulling you from your torpor. You start looking for a workaround. Hopefully, you can inject a few command lines to fix this, or maybe reset the router!

Out of the corner of your eye, you can see the support tickets piling up on your phone. You hiss “I know!” as the ding! ding! ding! from your notifications slowly turn into a knell.

It turns out your primary provider has a regional outage. Of course, you could manually change everyone’s setup and make it so their VPN session goes through the currently active provider, but how long would that take? There is nothing you can do except wait it out.

Your phone starts buzzing and the CFO is trying to reach you. You lean back in your chair. You’ve never felt so alone. “This is a nightmare… should’ve moved to SD-WAN” you mutter to yourself before picking up.

Over the past few years, businesses have been increasingly considering moving their services and applications to XaaS, or Cloud services in general, as part of the Digital Transformation trend. Very often, that shift was pushed back for a variety of reasons: whether a budgetary issue, a force of habit, missing internal expertise, or simply bad timing.

The COVID-19 Pandemic put increased pressure on businesses worldwide to accelerate that transition. From remote workers needing to access corporate resources, to setting-up collaboration platforms for employees. Up until now, the next step was a question of “whether”; now it’s a question of “how”.

Whatever solution your organization adopts to facilitate telework, the one thing it can’t go without is network access. Internet providers aren’t infallible and have been known to go dark. Even the best service and software can’t help you if you can’t reach them. So, how do you ensure uninterrupted and reliable access, even in the face of network outages?

The answer is simple: Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN).

Strengthen your VPN services

Your internal services don’t need to be at the mercy of a single Internet provider. With ELFIQ by Adaptiv Networks, you can leverage multiple providers for inbound VPN or DNS requests and steer them through the best available path and to the best available resource. It’s an easy, affordable way to strengthen your network if you’re not ready to move away from your on-premise resources.

Cloud-managed work from home solutions

Adaptiv also offers home office SD-WAN solutions for the cloud-ready business as a VPN alternative with added performance and reliability benefits. Not only can remote workers get automated SD-WAN encryption for secure access, but they can also enjoy advanced features like remote IT support, link failover, and cloud quality assurance.

Don’t be afraid to make the jump to SD-WAN – the alternative could be frightening.

Contact the Adaptiv Networks team today to find out how you can integrate this cutting-edge networking technology into your telecommuting home offices!

Sébastien Tellier is the Channel Program Director at Adaptiv Networks. Prior to joining Adaptiv, Sébastien worked at Martello and ELFIQ Networks, where he held different positions in marketing and sales in the SD-WAN market. During that time, he appeared on panels and shows in Europe and North America, while working with channel partners across the planet. Sébastien holds a Master of Science in Marketing from HEC Montréal.