NS1 Managed DNS: Steering traffic to the optimal VPN access points for reliable connectivity

NS1, a leader in next generation application networking, announced Managed DNS capabilities to support increased use of virtual private networks (VPNs). With NS1, network administrators gain powerful traffic management capabilities to accommodate the ever-growing number of remote employees and provide superior remote access experiences.

“Extending VPN to new users and use cases helps solve some immediate problems of isolation and segmentation. It also comes under immediate pressure, as organizations see VPN access capacity straining under a scale of remote work until now unforeseen.

“At least if the endpoint is on the VPN, that is a network known to the enterprise, and access can be segregated on that basis, if nothing else. But for every gain, there are also losses,” said Scott Crawford, research vice president, security, 451 Research, now a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

One challenge many companies are facing is increased load to VPN infrastructure. Although telecommuting was on the rise prior to the current crisis, only about 60% of companies had resources to support it, and of those, most only had VPN capacity for 5-10% of the workforce.

Now, both public internet and VPNs are being stretched to the limit, which creates connection errors, excessive wait times, and problems that halt business operations. Employees are upset, and network operations teams are strained—and adding more VPN endpoints isn’t enough.

NS1 Managed DNS, when used to direct VPN users, improves the experience for remote employees by intelligently and dynamically steering traffic to the optimal VPN access points for reliable, frictionless connectivity.

With patented point-and-click NS1 Filter Chain capability, network teams can easily configure powerful traffic-shaping algorithms based on location, resource availability, number of existing sessions, and a dozen other variables.

Based on these rules, NS1’s solution dynamically steers remote employees to the nearest healthy VPN endpoints that have the most capacity. As a result, employees can seamlessly connect and stay connected—a critical factor for business resilience.

“Supporting a distributed workforce can be a challenge in any environment, but during this unprecedented time—when stress on both employees and networks is heightened—business and IT leaders need to be confident in the performance and resilience of their systems,” said Kris Beevers, CEO, NS1.

“Our traffic management solutions ease this stress by eliminating the guesswork and uncertainty in establishing reliable, secure VPN connections, and allowing companies to focus on supporting employees and customers.”

Customers using NS1’s advanced traffic steering see a vast improvement in reliability and performance over having the user, or the VPN solution, choose the VPN endpoint based on location. The latter approach is particularly problematic because it doesn’t account for the latency and congestion created by a large number of users trying to access the same network from the same general area.

NS1 can ingest real-time telemetry to automate routing to the fastest and best-performing point of presence for each user, minimizing latency and preventing regional overload that could crash systems or prevent employees from connecting to the VPN at that location.

The NS1 Filter ChainTM can also be built to implement unique, complex policies that incorporate real user performance, or even resource cost, making it an ideal solution for managing multiple VPN endpoints.

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