NordLayer - Network Security

HQ infrastructure capacity and user traffic: why and how to balance it


By NordLayer
16 Aug 2022
10 min read
HQ infrastructure capacity and user traffic

Many things have changed since the office lost its significance as the primary workplace to deliver your job duties. Work From Home (WFH), Work From Anywhere (WFA), and workation became synonymous with working on-premise in the company HQ.

However, a massive shift to remote work results in increased traffic of users trying to access the on-site company resources through other channels than usual. Unsurprisingly, the overload crams up the corporate network, eventually affecting its performance.

But is it possible to make such a transition smooth and painless for the IT managers and the rest of the organization? 

How overloaded infrastructure reflects on network performance?

First, let’s dig into the problem — how does the increased user traffic affect the corporate network?

Previously, users connected to the company HQ mainly centrally, with only a small part of incoming connection requests from those working remotely - business trips, sick leave, urgent deadlines - you name it. Therefore, network access via VPN wasn’t a challenge as the organizational legacy perimeter was intentionally designed for such a setup.

With the global pandemic, quickly scaling companies with limited local employee resources and slow legacy infrastructure upgrades reversed everything upside down. A remote workforce means a few times higher number of organizational members simultaneously knocking on the same door to be let in to access internal data assets and applications.

Massive user traffic streams overcrowd network security systems as more requests must be filtered and authorized while others wait in line. This situation creates a poor user experience that impacts productivity.

However, there must be ways to streamline the user traffic for better performance, so what are they?

Solutions to protect HQ from massive traffic flow

Insufficient infrastructure capacity can improve with heavy investments in hardware that would support increased traffic flow. Legacy perimeter upgrades with more outdated solutions are a short-term solution, which, by the way, also takes plenty of time to be installed.

The good thing is, it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

Instead of stacking up more physical equipment somewhere on-premises, it’s possible to set up a VPN solution so it’s utilized more efficiently. The split tunneling feature available on a properly configured business VPN allows the distribution of incoming connection streams and the offload of unnecessary user traffic requests

Business VPN for user distribution control

A running VPN client transmits all user traffic through a secure VPN tunnel where information gets encrypted. In a basic setup, all undistributed user traffic as a streamline travels straight to the company network. The further redirection to the ultimate connection destinations proceeds as soon as the users access the organizational network.

NL solution for split tunneling scheme 1

It’s great if there’s a need to inspect and monitor all incoming traffic. On the other hand, it creates more work for the systems, resulting in more jammed performance or expensive injections to equipment expansion.

However, it’s not critical to have 100% of data encrypted the entire time, as not all of it is highly sensitive. Therefore, there’s no point in overdoing something that doesn’t increase the efficiency and effectiveness of company processes.

NordLayer business VPN with enabled site-to-site or IP allowlisting configurations does the traffic distribution before overflooding the company network while maintaining necessary security levels:

  • Connections travel through a secure tunnel as usual. However, they go not directly to the company network — the first touch base is the company’s Virtual Private Gateway. 

  • Traffic gets distributed on the Virtual Private Gateway — part of it travels through a secure tunnel to the company network to access internal resources and systems. 

  • The rest of the users connect directly to the Internet without the unnecessary detour to the company network.

NL solution for split tunneling scheme 2

Optimizing traffic flow with split tunneling decreases the impact of remote workers trying to connect all at once. By routing part of the traffic directly to the public network, not all user endpoint connections are encrypted. Thus, the impact on performance is lower.

Benefits of incoming traffic optimization

Business VPN with site-to-site connection or IP allowlisting configuration enables traffic reduction via split tunnels. It offloads organizational members’ access requests from HQ servers and data centers. Less waiting time due to improved network performance ensures a smoother user experience and minimal infrastructure impact on tasks’ delivery on time.

Undoubtedly, deploying a well-fitted cloud-native solution into your existing infrastructure saves company resources — time, money, and people. Easy implementation, launch, and distribution of the tool considerably impact handling unexpected corporate-level issues like overcrowded HQ network.

Things to keep in mind

NordLayer’s business VPN requires simple configuration steps to apply split tunneling. User traffic optimization is only possible if the site-to-site connection is configured with the service. Alternatively, IP allowlisting resources accessible via NordLayer also enables the feature.

You can solve overcrowded company network issues quickly and with ease — set up NordLayer client effortlessly and enjoy the benefits of hardware-free network traffic control. Reach out to our team and pick the most suitable solution for your business network optimization.

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