Shown above: Companies that provide VPN support and client software
When selecting a virtual private network (VPN) for your enterprise, VPN design rationales usually proceed in two directions at once: from the top down, and from the bottom up. This can pose interesting challenges for IT staff.
These are characteristics of a top-down approach to selecting a VPN:
- Existing infrastructure dictates the VPN components chosen.
- Upper management dictates your specific vendor choice or relationship.
- Purchase decisions are based purely on best price, or on the optimal features-to-price tradeoff.
Under this typical VPN design rationale, IT only rarely gets the option to pick whatever it wants.
There are characteristics of a bottom-up approach to selecting a VPN:
- User platforms dictate VPN protocols and solutions.
- Low-cost or freeware VPN clients drive remaining component choices.
This bottom-up approach creates a free-for-all: Multiple VPNs get used for different user groups or platforms.
→ To view the four top VPN clients, see the next slide.
This was first published in October 2011