What Is Cloud VPN?
A cloud VPN or virtual private network is a technology created to help users access their organization’s data, applications, and files via a website or an application. Organizations or enterprises host a VPN endpoint on the network, and all the outside workers can establish a secure link to this point and use the cloud resources and applications on the corporate network.
Previously when an employee was working outside, they would use a remote VPN to access the services and information required to work from their organization’s servers.
However, with a rapid shift from remote access VPN to the cloud, the need to connect to servers is useless. Instead, users can now securely access data and applications based on the cloud. This access method is very convenient, making a company’s architecture more scalable, flexible, and agile.
What Does A Cloud VPN Offer?
A cloud virtual private network offers its users a wide range of benefits, such as:
Globally Accessible VPN Access
Cloud VPN services are accessible to users worldwide, allowing them to use data and files no matter where they are. The cloud VPN server makes secure services available to employees via the public internet through a cloud platform.
Since cloud VPN services enable people to share and transfer data and files from any private network without time and place limitations, it makes it very desirable. The cloud platform gives the user an exceptional experience because they can access and use the resources and the network, similar to someone sitting in the office.
Direct Cloud Access
Traditional VPNs increase the network latency for cloud-based applications and resources because they route all the traffic through the enterprise network. Cloud VPNs provide secure and direct access to the enterprise cloud. With direct cloud access, organizations have become more reliant on the cloud for data storage and secure access to applications.
Traditional VPNs can be complicated to configure and set up as they slowly adapt to changing network requirements and architecture. A cloud-based VPN is managed and provided by a cloud VPN service provider that offers superb usability and flexibility.
Conventional hardware VPNs have limited bandwidth or connections that they can support. It dramatically decreases or limits their ability to scale and meet the increasing demands of users. Cloud VPN solutions have greater scalability, enabling the enterprise to decrease or increase the bandwidth of the VPN users.
It is commonly noted that enterprise VPN software is generally difficult to use on computer and mobile devices, mainly used by teleworkers. Cloud-based VPN, like any cloud-based solution, can exclusively include mobile support to provide further usability for off-site workers.
Cloud VPN Function
Cloud VPN solutions enable enterprises to strengthen networks on the public cloud with security compliance and accessibility.
Cloud VPN encrypts the data or any traffic between the networks and the VPN gateway. The cloud VPN can do this by creating an IPsec VPN tunnel. Therefore, a Cloud VPN tunnel is also responsible for protecting the data that travel over the public internet.
This function of cloud VPN is crucial for corporations because it protects a company’s communications and other sensitive data from any potential breach. VPN tunnel acts as a private gateway from an endpoint to your network. If cybercriminals get a piece of your data, it will not make sense because it is entirely encrypted.
Private gateway and encryption can protect data from the threats of the internet. However, the data is always at risk if no proper system verifies users accessing the network.
Cloud VPN solutions give users the latest technology for verification that is very effective. Now corporations can easily verify users before giving them access to the network with methods such as SSO, biometrics, and 2FA.
Types Of Cloud VPNs
There are two classifications of widely used types of cloud VPN models.
This type provides a highly secure and available connection between the VPC network and the on-premises via an IPsec VPN connection. The highly available HA VPN offers an SLA service availability of 99.9% when configured with two external IP addresses and interfaces. Cloud VPN HA supports the creation of multiple VPN gateways where each gateway interface supports many tunnels. In a cloud VPN, the HA VPN gateway must support BGP routing. To get high availability, when both VPN gateways are in VPC networks, HA gateways should be used in a similar region.
Classic VPNs have a single external IP address and a single interface, and it only supports tunnels that use static routing or dynamic BGP. Like cloud HA VPN, classic VPN also gives an SLA of 99.9% service availability.
Two VPN configurations are used to deploy Virtual Private Networks over public networks, i.e., Site to site VPN and site-to-cloud configuration.
This configuration lets information be sent safely across many LANs or local area networks to many office networks. The site-to-site VPN configuration routes packets over a safe VPN tunnel between devices or routers. Resultantly two private sites or networks can share information across an unsafe network.
Site-to-site VPN enhances scalability and flexibility because the VPN gateway has only the duty to support the functionality of IPsec. This dramatically decreases management costs and installation, enhances processing speed, and frees up memory consumption. On the flip side, it increases the utilization of computing power, which can significantly reduce communication speed.
This configuration is also called a secure client-to-gateway connection. Using this configuration, an applying client can access sensitive data of an organization’s local area network from a remote location. A site-to-cloud VPN is a secure option that enables users to securely enter corporate resources and networks from a remote area, regardless of location.
In this case, the user must connect to the VPN to access the LAN. It is managed by configuring a computer operating system or a router. Usually, site-to-cloud VPN configurations are used by extranet VPNs or access VPNs. It ensures users can get secure network access while working from home or traveling. Therefore, it also eliminates the need for a fixed job in an office.
Cloud VPN Topologies
Cloud VPN has three topologies that relate to HA VPN.
2 Peer VPN Devices
This topology involves a gateway linking two peer devices with their own external IP address and interface. If one gateway is hardware-based, the second one offers redundancy.
It is best for organizations because it protects against failures and allows them to take a gateway offline for software upgrades or scheduled maintenance.
1 Peer VPN Device With 2 IP Addresses
As the name indicates, a peer device with two IP addresses is connected to a single gateway. The gateway utilizes two virtual private network tunnels for connection.
1 Peer VPN Device With 1 IP Address
In this topology, a peer device with one IP address connects to the gateway and uses two tunnels. Both tunnels connect to the external single IP address.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprises saw a dramatic rise in remote workers, and telework has driven the limitations of static VPNs. Most organizations found that their VPN solutions were not up to par with meeting the requirements of most of the remote workforce. As a result, hardware VPN appliances were overwhelmed, and the incapable routing of cloud traffic through the primary network increased the latency of the network.
As organizations rapidly move their infrastructure to the cloud, changing their VPN to cloud VPN solutions is only suitable. Unlike static or traditional VPNs, a cloud VPN gives its users a stable connection that can rapidly deploy worldwide.