A site-to-site virtual private network (VPN) is a connection between two or more networks, such as a corporate network and a branch office network. Many organizations use site-to-site VPNs to leverage an internet connection for private traffic as an alternative to using private MPLS circuits.
Site-to-site VPNs are frequently used by companies with multiple offices in different geographic locations that need to access and use the corporate network on an ongoing basis. With a site-to-site VPN, a company can securely connect its corporate network with its remote offices to communicate and share resources with them as a single network.
Figure 1: Example of a site-to-site VPN
Site-to-site VPNs and remote access VPNs may sound similar, but they serve entirely different purposes.
Companies have traditionally used site-to-site VPNs to connect their corporate network and remote branch offices in a hub-and-spoke topology. This approach works when a company has an in-house data center, highly sensitive applications or minimal bandwidth requirements. However, now that most companies have moved their applications and data to the cloud and have large mobile workforces, it no longer makes sense for users to have to go through an in-house data center to get to the cloud when they can instead go to the cloud directly.
Consequently, companies need to set up network topology with access to the cloud or data center applications. This is driving organizations to set up network architectures that do not depend on bringing all traffic back to headquarters.
A more recent cybersecurity model called a secure access service edge (SASE; pronounced “sassy”), delivers the networking and network security services companies need directly through a cloud infrastructure. Moreover, SASE offers multiple security capabilities, such as advanced threat prevention, credential theft prevention, web filtering, sandboxing, DNS security, data loss prevention (DLP) and others from one cloud-delivered platform.
This allows companies to easily connect their remote offices; securely route traffic to public or private clouds, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications or the internet; and manage and control access.
Some of the benefits of using a SASE are that it allows companies to:
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