Like most things in IT, everything old eventually becomes new again.
France-based global telecom Orange on Sept. 22 breathed new life into the venerable virtual private network by adding a new-generation Business VPN option to its list of Internet services.
The new-gen ingredient inside the service is that instead of using separate access ports for VPN and the Internet, Orange developers have created for Business VPN Internet a single common circuit to accommodate both data streams simultaneously. The approach enables better--and more granular--management of security and data flow, the company said.
Orange enterprise customers can select traditional T-1s, Ethernet or DSL to access the Business VPN.
With the service, the corporation’s Business Services division is providing a requirement for the growing multisite enterprise hybrid cloud trend in which AT&T, Verizon and Sprint also compete: a secure network within the public cloud.
The new service adds security by incorporating virtual firewall protection at each gateway based on the customer's security policy. Orange Business Services also offer cloud-based security options, such as URL filtering.
Orange claimed that its hybrid Internet/WAN ports, available at no extra cost, can reduce bandwidth costs by up to 30 percent, thanks to the added efficiencies of the single connection.
VPNs, various types of which have been in use in enterprises for more than 40 years, enable a private network across a public network. They enable computers to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if it is directly connected to the private network, while benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols or traffic encryptions.
"We now have what we call a hybrid port, so we use a single access circuit connected to a single port, and by doing that we can offer greater flexibility, but also be able to use the spare bandwidth available for Internet access when the port is carrying less VPN traffic,” Andrew McFadzen, Orange’s director of Global Marketing, Network Solutions, said during a conference call launching the new product.
For example, a user with an 8M bps access circuit could use 4M bps for his business VPN--specifically for the highly sensitive traffic--and the other 4M bps for Internet traffic.
The new-gen VPN uses 15 global Internet gateways in major cities in five continents, including the U.S., the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Africa and Australia. Gateways are in London, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, Sydney, Tokyo, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and Bahrain. Orange will make more available as needed, McFadzen said.