Aryaka SmartSecure Private Access: A Look Behind the Scenes
We have to admit to suffering from chronic pandemic fatigue – both when it comes to the limitations it imposes into our everyday life as well as when it comes to the entire high-tech industry linking every piece of technology news to the IT challenges posed by the COVID-19 challenge. Clearly the dramatic shift of traffic load from intra-enterprise to employees’ homes and cloud services has had a gigantic impact.
But the limitations of traditional VPN infrastructures -which funnel all traffic to the enterprise core infrastructure assuming it is still the center of all things- were in evidence much earlier, as we discussed on our recent webinar. Even now we persist in labelling knowledge workers that are not in an office a “remote or mobile worker” as if that was a special exception status. But no: Even before pandemic, when working in a global workforce, time zone differences dictated that several participants in a meeting located in a different geography would be attending the meeting from home. I certainly must go back quite a few years to remember the last time I stayed in the office until 10pm or had to be in the office at 5am to attend a meeting. I’d do it on counted occasions for key meetings, I remember. However, ever since technology enabled me to attend those meetings easily and effectively from my home office, they have become very regular occurrences.
And even back then, we all probably recall situations when technology failed to connect one of those participants effectively. Bad voice quality will render any participant’s attendance anywhere from less impactful to a total loss of their (and sometimes the attendees’) time.
Fast forward to the last year, and the situation became so bad that enterprises had to tell employees to not use video or to stagger meetings outside of the rush full- or half- meeting hours while they were trying to find a solution to remote traffic overload.
The initial solution was to pivot towards 100% cloud-oriented solutions. But even those faced performance issues with exponentially growing and sometimes unpredictable traffic growth. Cloud providers must face a basic issue with their capacity planning: is the current demand permanent? If -let’s say- we turn back to the old traffic patterns (which admittedly is very unlikely), then they are left with footing a bill for over-capacity without the revenue to justify it. Cloud architectures allow for a lot of elasticity, but dramatically decreased demand is a problem when we typically architect for “up and to the right” demand models.
Aryaka’s Private Access addresses the realities of hybrid cloud and enterprise infrastructures, which naturally ideally accommodate the needs of the emerging hybrid workplace, the new reality where a very large percentage of workers are going to be both office- and home-based. The ability to re-use the same high-performance global infrastructure -in Aryaka’s case the Global Layer 2 SmartConnect network- for enterprise, cloud and remote worker traffic delivers on three key advantages for Aryaka customers:
- Performance: Enterprises can leverage both the deterministic performance of the Aryaka Core network as a global middle mile as well as traffic optimization algorithms between end points and the closest Aryaka Service PoP. This means superior and predictable performance for any remote office, remote worker and application, resulting in increased productivity. Real world tests have measured performance improvements of over 400% (!).
- Elasticity: Having the flexibility to re-use the same global infrastructure for both intra-enterprise traffic and remote worker traffic without the bottlenecks of traditional VPN solutions allows enterprises to invest into a single resource pool to achieve optimal performance across the board. Shifts in traffic load from enterprise-internal to remote workers will be completely transparent and user experience as well as application performance will remain intact and consistent.
- Ease of Deployment: Like every other service in the Aryaka SmartSecure portfolio, SmartSecure Private Access will be up and running globally in 48 hours or less, with Aryaka’s industry leading 365/24/7 service. Furthermore, the managed service model abstracts implementation and trouble-shooting complexity for customers. Which, combined with the ability to leverage converged core network infrastructure and services, leads to immediate TCO savings: it eliminates implementation and operational silos for separate enterprise network and remote worker access infrastructures.
All this is made possible by leveraging the Aryaka SmartServices cloud-first architecture for service delivery. The elements of the SmartSecure Private Access solution encompass:
- The SmartSecure Private Access Client on the user device, which supports all major operating systems (Win, macOS, iOS, Android). Administrators can also very easily set up split-tunneling policies. Last but not least, the client has the ability to tunnel through access technologies that try to suppress encrypted VPN traffic.
- The clients’ traffic is terminated on an Aryaka Service PoP, which spins up as many SmartSecure Private Access Instances as required to support resource separation between Aryaka customers as well as deterministic performance. From here, user traffic traverses through the Aryaka Global L2 Private Network to either a cloud service via the SmartCloud service, or to a DC/HQ or branch location via the SmartConnect service, leveraging the superior performance features of the Aryaka core.
- The SmartSecure Private Access Manager service supports easy operation of the service and interacts with existing enterprise identity and access management systems such as LDAP, Kerberos, Radius and others to reliably authenticate users and establish their access rights.
Aryaka SmartConnect Private Access exemplifies Aryaka’s commitment to cater to its customers’ needs: its design was shaped by the input of hundreds’ of Aryaka customers around the world. They expressed their desire to extend the benefits of Aryaka’s SmartServices portfolio to address the challenge of the hybrid workplace, and our teams listened and delivered the agility of the DevOps model we use in service delivery (which deserves its own blog in the near feature).