The Mobile Access Revolution: Visibility and Performance Remain a Challenge

November 27, 2017

If mobile VPN seems a persistent pain in the-you-know-where, you’re not alone. At our recent webinar “Mobile Access Revolution: The End of Slow VPN and Users’ Complaints,” Adrian Dunne, global IT director at AdRoll, a leading ad tech company, and Ofir Agasi, our director of product marketing, analyzed the challenges posed by mobile users and how IT managers can address them.

Dunne bring extensive experience managing mobile users. The company has about 350 offsite contractors that Dunne’s team manages. He evaluated a range of solutions and eventually settled on Cato Cloud to connect his mobile users and 500 employees to AdRoll’s three datacenters running in Amazon AWS. (See this case study to learn more about the AdRoll implementation.)

During the webinar, we asked participants about their mobile VPN challenges. More than half of respondents indicated “lack of visibility and control“ as their biggest challenge. The problem will only grow as companies shift their datacenters and applications to the cloud.

The WAN Ignore Mobile Users

While companies are transforming their WANs in part due to cloud adoption, mobile users typically benefit little from that investment. That’s because SD-WAN appliances were designed to replace routers, WAN  optimizers and the rest of the networking stack needed for site-to-site connectivity — not mobile connectivity.

With SD-WAN appliances, mobile users are still left establishing VPNs back to on-premises firewalls (or concentrators). From there, they can exit through a local Internet access point or traverse the WAN to a central, secured Internet access point. Either approach impacts performance, rendering traditional VPN architectures a poor choice for accessing cloud datacenters and applications.

Allowing mobile users direct access to the cloud, though, still doesn’t entirely solve the performance problem. Users remain subject to the erratic routing and high latency of the public Internet. More than a third of respondents indicated performance to be a problem when accessing cloud applications, cloud datacenters, or applications running in their physical datacenters.

Cato Cloud is a fundamentally different kind of SD-WAN that avoids these issues. It’s a cloud networking architecture connecting all resources — physical, cloud, and mobile — to a single, virtual enterprise WAN. Result: a deep convergence of multiple capabilities, including WAN optimization, network security, cloud access control, and remote access to the network itself. Mobile user performance and  IT visibility and control improve significantly.

For more details, watch the webinar here.

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield is a veteran of IT industry. He’s spent more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and independent technology consultant. Today, he serves as a secure networking evangelist for Cato Networks.