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VPNs for business may not have much time, according to cloud services exec

VPNs have been a popular alternative for businesses unable to invest in WANs. (Source: bestvpnservice.com)
VPNs have been a popular alternative for businesses unable to invest in WANs. (Source: bestvpnservice.com)
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are not just for individuals trying to get around geo-restrictions. Companies may also use them to streamline their online connections. However, a managing director for a UK IT and networking company thinks an emerging alternative is about to make these VPNs obsolete.
Deirdre O Donnell,

Virtual private networks (VPNs) may be a viable alternative for companies who don't want the trouble or expense involved in setting up a corporate wide-area network (WAN). VPNs may be a better option if the business in question just wants to connect to a high volume of remote sites. On the other hand, this can be a  complicated process that involves configuring the network in question for each individual site, and so that each individual connection can pass through a firewall.

These VPNs also face competition from multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), which may be a more cost-effective way of maintaining several corporate connections. However, MPLSs may be even more complex for the on-site IT professional; VPNs may have retained their popularity for this reason. However, Mukesh Bavisi, who works as the managing director for the UK cloud-services, network and IT service provider exponential-e, believes that an emerging alternative has considerable advantages over business-grade VPNs. It is known as the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN). This tool, as the name implies, is a layer over the internal  and external networks that apply to a company. 

Bavisi has championed the advanced capabilities of SD-WANs compared to VPNs in a letter published on TechRadar. This letter points out that, in addition to the simple interfaces possible with SD-WANs (as with VPNs), the newer network types also handle firewalls automatically. Therefore, Bavisi speculates that business-grade VPNs could be obsolete by the next decade. On the other hand, VPNs represent more familiar and better-validated territory - for now.

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-08-24 (Update: 2018-08-24)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.