Fairly common for data storage and management needs to have outgrown what you originally set up for their accommodation and giving them the elbow room they need. All sorts of possibilities and variations on and around what that outgrowing might mean for a person or organization depending on what they do and how extensive their data needs have become. For a long time now the default suggestion for any in such a situation would be to move to a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But here we are again collectively struggling to keep up with changing needs and realities, and if we were to list out all the potential explanations as to why a VPN wouldn’t be quite cutting it like it used to for people then we’d have an entire blog entry of its own. But VPNs are so well entrenched as a critical enabling tool for today’s distributed organizations and internet users. Roughly one-third of all internet users now use a VPN to protect personal data, and that’s a number that’s going to get the attention of us here at 4GoodHosting in the same way it would for any good Canadian web hosting provider.
Then there’s the fact that there’s plenty ready to push this trend even further, especially with rampant cybercrime and privacy concerns likely to be front and center in the coming years. The pressure this puts on VPN providers is to offer reliable ways for this surging demand to be quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively accommodated. And the need is even more acute in high-growth emerging markets which offer massive growth potential – Indonesia, China, Thailand, India, and the UAE to name the most notable ones.
The most recent and popular industry consensus is that the best way to do this is to leverage private edge computing and networking services as a means of scaling VPNs more ideally, and that’s what we’re going to look at with this week’s blog entry.
Difficult, but Doable
Let’s start with what makes this difficult. Heavy regulatory barriers, lacking infrastructure, gaps in connectivity, and expensive operating costs means reaching customers in these markets can prove to be challenging. The entirety of scaling a VPN service is difficult too, and much of that is because until now there’s only really been two approaches to doing that – either horizontally or vertically.
When you scale up vertically it is almost always necessary to upgrade servers by replacing them. Expensive? Absolutely, and prohibitively so for a lot of the organizations that would need to eat those costs. But having optimal performance per server is a must, and so if you’re going to scale up vertically these high hardware replacement costs are pretty much unavoidable.
Scaling out horizontally presents its own set of reasons for decision makers to be dissuaded. Scaling out horizontally by adding more servers to your current infrastructure to accommodate peak user loads is expensive and time consuming. Putting together a private high-performing global network that is capable of spanning geographical distances can seem like a daunting task with how long it will take and how much it will likely cost. This is making no mention of the additional maintenance costs which add to the expensiveness.
Private Edge Solution
Having infrastructure providers that offer global, private edge computing and networking services is what’s needed, but who has the means of stepping up and doing what’s necessary to make that it available for those who need it. Another option exists for VPN providers that don’t find cost efficiencies in scaling horizontally or vertically.
That’s to work with a 3rd-party infrastructure enabler that has private, high-quality compute and networking services at the edge of the network available. The key part of this being at the edge is the way it would be relatively close to end users in strategic markets. That eliminates the distance problem from the equation, and by outsourcing network and computer operations these providers can instantly scale into global markets and serve new VPN customers.
- Improved performance with more ensured performance and stability in overseas markets
- Reduction in long distance data transmissions resulting in faster data transfers and much less in the way of performance issues (latency / jitter)
- Better security stemming from 3rd-party infrastructure providers being able to grant access to premium bare metal and virtual machines (VM) for enhanced VPN security and scaling more safely
- Less maintenance due to avoiding more-constricted VPN services where many servers spread out across multiple locations
- Lower operating costs as by outsourcing operations you are able to leverage flexible pricing models and pay less for the bandwidth you need
Last but not least, aggregate bandwidth pricing makes it more possible for you to evaluate the balance between underutilized and overutilized servers. You are then able to reduce bandwidth waste and make the most of your bandwidth spend.