IT managers choosing a virtual private network (VPN) design are often caught between management dictates and user preferences. This can pose interesting challenges for IT staff.
Upper management's approach to choosing a VPN design often follows along these lines:
- Existing infrastructure dictates the VPN components chosen.
- Upper management determines 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 rarely gets the option to pick whatever it wants.
The bottom-up, user-driven approach to choosing a VPN often has these characteristics:
- 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.