Transitioning to remote work introduces employees to new challenges such as slow VPN access. Here are a few ways to increase that speed.
As companies shift to remote work due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, they are encountering network-related obstacles such as slow VPN access.
Unfortunately, adding more VPN servers may not solve the problem, as the underlying issue is often more complicated. Contributing factors can include a network segment design problem, outdated security policies, and home networks that impede VPN traffic.
While poor, remote networking speed can potentially impact any industry, some industries have more acute issues given the tighter security protocols they have in place. These include the healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and government sectors.
How to Increase VPN Speed
There are several ways to increase remote worker speed:
Networking and Security Analysis
The first thing you should consider is a review of your current network and security configuration. This analysis may include reviewing different approaches to networking and security, evaluating new or different VPN tooling options, and a policy review. Depending on the scope of the analysis and the size of your organization, you can complete this process in a few hours to a few days.
Rapid File Migration to the Cloud
One of the simplest things you can do is shift your onsite files from on-prem to a public cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can implement a rapid file migration to the cloud in days rather than weeks.
Improve Pipeline Performance by Moving to the Cloud
If you run into performance problems with your Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline, you may want to consider moving your development pipeline to the cloud to more efficiently manage, test, and deploy your applications. By keeping your CI pipeline in the cloud, you have several advantages over on-prem solutions, including secure universal access, scalability and performance, reliability and flexibility. You can read more on how to improve CI performance here.
Rapid Data Lake Implementation
Data analysis and reporting create high-volume traffic on a VPN. Offset this load by creating a data lake in Azure or AWS. Data lakes are simply a repository of raw data, and creating one can be as simple as restoring a database backup in the cloud environment. Cloud-based visualization and analytics tools (for example, Power BI, Databricks, or Tableau) can work with data in the cloud without affecting VPN.
Many companies leverage Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based suite of collaboration tools. If you want to increase remote worker VPN speed, consider implementing split-tunneling. Split-tunneling reduces VPN load by permitting natively encrypted traffic (such as O365) to bypass your VPN. There are pros and cons to this approach, so we recommend discussing them with an Office 365 Microsoft Partner who has at least Gold Competency before implementing this approach.
Virtual Desktop Rollout
Virtual Desktop tools replicate the desktop experience from a web browser. By removing device dependencies, your team has more flexibility for remote work while also giving your organization increased security, scalability and cost savings. Both Microsoft and AWS have virtual desktop products— Azure Desktop and AWS Workspaces, respectively. You can roll out a simple desktop image quickly, allowing your remote workers to get productive sooner. You can learn more about AWS WorkSpaces and Windows Virtual Desktop in these blogs.
There are several options available to increase VPN speed, allowing your workforce to be more efficient while working remotely. Start with a simple networking and security analysis, and then implement the solution(s) that address your acute needs best within your timeframe and budget.