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Worldwide Wi-Fi with encryption guarantee

Anyone using a public Wi-Fi network outside Germany runs the risk of having their data intercepted. One solution is encrypted VPN access to the German Internet – available as a mobile app for the customers of a major telephone company.

Public Wi-Fi network access is now available around the globe. Various users on all four continents offer this simple, hassle-free mobile access to the Internet. Sometimes it will be an initiative of city councils, other times you will find airports or hotels are involved. But what it always involves is offering the customer easy Internet access as an additional service. And these services go down really well; after all, mobile roaming may entail unforeseeable costs in some cases.

High risk associated with public Wi-Fi

Yet Wi-Fi entails a very high risk: public access points are unprotected; data connections are fairly easy to eavesdrop. Anyone working on the move, say on a business trip abroad, that uses this kind of public Wi-Fi runs the risk of vital business data falling into the wrong hands. Yet one solution comes in the shape of encrypted VPN access to the German Internet. For business users, however, this requires special in-house VPN access, which is often not made available due to cost constraints.

A large telecommunications company is offering its premium customers a far more practical solution. Using a special mobile app they generate an encrypted VPN connection to the telecommunication’s company own Internet backbone each time someone dials into the Wi‑Fi. The company expects up to 50,000 simultaneous users for this new service. This large number of customers alone shows that the service places major demands on the transport network in terms of bandwidth and speed.

The company contracted software specialist TWENTY |20 to provide the new secure access technology. The developers initially had to look for a data center to host the application and quickly came across ITENOS. TWENTY |20 had already been using several managed racks in an ITENOS data center since 2013. “We were familiar with the performance and the service quality of the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary,” says Christian Wienke, project leader for “Hosted VPN.” “We’ve been working together with ITENOS for the past three years and during this period we haven’t had one single failure.”

A single platform for everything

The developers had no qualms about opting for ITENOS as a partner for the new product because ITENOS offered a new solution at the right time. Christian Wienke: “The Data LogistIX platform is just what we need.” With Data LogistIX, ITENOS offers bandwidth-hungry and latency-critical data-center users a direct connection to a host of national and international telecommunications networks. The platform is connected to the Deutsche Telekom network, among others, and, in turn, to 42 percent of German broadband lines. Furthermore, this network connects us to more than a third of all mobile lines, providing us with direct access to 250 million Deutsche Telekom customers.

Data LogistIX (“Best place to stream”) also offers, in addition to direct connections to the leading cloud providers, a direct connection to the world’s largest – measured in terms of data throughput – Internet exchange DE-CIX. Thanks to the connection to the major national and international tier-1 carriers, the data on the new platform can always take the shortest route through the network. The ITENOS infrastructure is quality- and ISO-certified – complying with highest security requirements of the common standards. An important issue for many customers is that ITENOS is located in Germany and so subject to German law and German data protection regulations. All these features helped meet additional TWENTY |20 key requirements, Christian Wienke reports.

The TWENTY |20 developers and the customer regarded two issues as important: Firstly, the high performance of the platform and, secondly, scaling that was as easy as possible, also when it came to cost. The contractor can therefore rest assured that the technical infrastructure can be upgraded as required, with charging geared to growing data volumes. With regard to the implemented solution, project leader Wienke also welcomes the fact that TWENTY |20 can use its own IP addresses and no longer has to switch from one data center to another, making administration much easier. TWENTY |20 had previously registered its own autonomous system (AS). With the Data LogistIX service “IP-Transit,” TWENTY |20 can also freely choose the prioritized network connection.

Short response times

The developers appreciate working together with a flexible technology partner. For Christian Wienke that means above all short response times, good accessibility of the contacts, and quick implementation. “ITENOS is performing really well,” Wienke sums up. He has a direct contact partner for each specific issue, meaning “there are no misunderstandings.”

He commends the fact that it only took a few days to get the new platform up and running. ITENOS also showed great flexibility in response to the request for a connection to another carrier as a fallback solution. To provide the VPN solution with even better protection, the whole system will be mirrored at a second German data-center location of ITENOS in the course of 2017.

The theoretical commitments regarding bandwidth and speed for the exclusive access to the Internet are actually met in practice, project leader Wienke reports. The initial load tests in early 2017 demonstrated just that. The start of the pilot operation with an initial 500 users in early April also went well. So the project team can confidently look forward to the product start and the worldwide rollout. Wienke: “Up to now, we have not regretted our decision.”