OpenVPN systems have a loyal contingent of supporters in the IT industry, and recent moves by major technology vendors to introduce specialised OpenVPN products have seen their popularity increase even further in the mainstream market.
An OpenVPN network can be implemented in two key ways, the most popular being via a road warrior setup where the system is optimised by travelling workers. The second setup, which is the quiet achiever in the OpenVPN world, is via a gateway-to-gateway system that allows a connection between offices and sites.
Gateway-to-gateway implementations are steadily growing in popularity as they are lightweight; can be installed on a server platform, a client’s machine, as a cloud infrastructure component and more commonly in commercial network and firewall appliances; and they are becoming more readily available in many commercial products.
Endian’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) products include OpenVPN functionality for both road warrior and gateway-to-gateway implementations. Endian also has a specialised gateway-to-gateway product in the Endian 4i.
Veritech Corporation’s Network Engineer, Mr Gerard Simms, said that while the Endian 4i contains most UTM features, the compact size of the appliance makes it an ideal platform for VPN tunnels to home or small offices.
“Gateway-to-gateway installations are popular with Endian users who have multiple offices as it makes it easy to access resources regardless of where they are located,” Mr Simms said.
“At Veritech, our Senior Manager uses a 4i gateway-to-gateway mode to access the main office from his home office. This is a permanently connected tunnel that has all the routing fixtures in place, as well as security settings to guarantee a rock-solid VPN tunnel. The manager is able to transparently access all the office resources such as the accounting system, wiki resources, billing systems, and CRM systems without being aware of where they are actually located,” he said.
Another well known Australian technology company, NetComm, has recently released a NextG router with in-built OpenVPN, specially designed for gateway-to-gateway installations.
NetComm’s Managing Director, David Stewart, said that OpenVPN was incorporated into its industrial NextG™ / 3G M2M wireless router to enable portability, security and simple installation.
“The system has become a defacto standard in the industry in accordance with wireless network and M2M advances. With businesses increasingly utilising VPN connections to reduce operational expenditure and increase productivity, we combined the two systems into a single router to provide the flexibility and performance capabilities required for business efficiency,” said Mr Stewart.
“The NextG™ / 3G M2M wireless router accommodates multiple communication interfaces and is equipped with a tri-band 3G module to support point-to-point or point-to-multi-point data transfers over most of the world’s HSPA networks. OpenVPN is the ideal system to combine with NextG™ wireless to ensure the delivery of reliable and versatile communications that meet the specific application needs of today’s businesses,” said Mr Stewart.