VPN has for many years been the secure and safe way to connect employees on the road to internal applications on intranets. VPN assumes and requires a good and reliable connection with low risk of packet loss and a low round-trip delay to make sure connections are not lost due to timeouts.
VPN / SD WAN challenges
Using a VPN or an SD WAN connection on a packet loss prone mobile connection will often lead to applications temporarily freezing and if a VPN connection is lost due to timeouts while a remote worker is in the middle of a transaction, resuming the workload can prove difficult, and the mobile employee may often have to restart work from scratch and try to complete the transaction once more in the hope the connection will not be lost once again. This causes frustration for the employee and wastes both time and resources.
Although cellular and Wi-Fi networks have improved over time, there are many places where mobile connections are marginal and not well suited for SD WAN connections.
Steinwurf has developed and improved coding of VPN / SD WAN traffic based on RLNC using forward erasure correcting codes. When a connection becomes unstable and prone to high packet loss or longer round trip delays, erasure data packets are transmitted, which will help recover lost packets at the receiver side. Since lost packets can be recovered at the receiver, they do not need to be re-sent, dramatically reducing the risk of protocol timeouts and minimizing the risk of connection loss.
The algorithm estimates the rate of packet loss and preemptively sends repair packets, which are used to recover lost packets and minimize the risk of timeouts. In this way the latency can be reduced to the minimum for a given physical link. The algorithm is particularly well suited when streaming live video or voice, which is becoming more and more important in many applications for mobile employees, e.g. in conference and video calls, during AR-assisted field services, for first responders, etc.
Easy to integrate
The Steinwurf coding algorithm is available as a middleware application, encoding packets before transmission, and decoding and erasure correcting packets after reception, making it straightforward to both implement and test the improvements. The solution can also easily be integrated in your current VPN / SD WAN protocol at the client and server side.
More background info on the solution can be found here: What about the latency, stupid.
If you want to experiment with our solution - or have a chat about how the solution can be licensed and integrated into your products, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.