By Jordan Feigenbaum, Product Manager, IPC
2020 will forever be remembered as the year in which we grew tired of the word “unprecedented”. If we’ve collectively learned one thing, it’s that we absolutely must prioritize adaptation and resilience in our business models, our ways of working and our technology infrastructure and connectivity. Right now, we are still seeing customers globally operating remote teams, with local lockdowns leading to a continuation of the work-from-home paradigm. At this stage, we have no idea of the extent to which those working patterns and changes will become permanent. What we do however know is that, as an enabler of market access and connectivity, we need to be able to flexibly and responsively support the evolving needs of our clients.
Connecting financial market participants, wherever they may be…
IPC operates one of the largest global networks that is exclusive to the financial services community, with over 130 points of presence. We can reach every major financial center around the globe, but this year has shown us that is not enough. Our customers may have their offices in city centers, but their employees live farther afield, and this year’s pandemic has led many to change their living arrangements or base themselves closer to extended family. Wherever they may be, they need access to their work environments, applications and to other market participants.
This access needs to be super-secure, and it also needs to be flexible, allowing for arrangements to be adapted as employees move between locations, or back to offices. We have seen several stories of late about hackers compromising corporate VPNs as a direct result of those companies’ reliance on inadequate remote working arrangements. For financial institutions, the stakes are even higher – it’s not only about the costs of compromise but also the regulatory and reputational impacts.
Enter IPC’s Connexus SD-WAN – Software Defined Networking in a Wide Area Network. It combines several technologies to create secure networks with flexible connectivity options and simplified administration and troubleshooting. SD-WAN relies on internet connectivity, so it can reach anywhere that an internet connection can, and it also covers multiple devices (i.e. mobile phones, tablets and PCs, all using home high-speed internet access). Think of it as another connectivity tool in the kit, with the same security and access as Connexus WAN, but having a wider reach. It’s also fully scalable – you can install it where you need to put it and use it only when you need. There’s no on-site config or onerous setup required, it’s a seamless “plug and play” experience that offers full access to the IPC platform and ecosystem.
What does using Connexus SD-WAN look like in practice?
For one of our customers, a global firm with remote branches and employees:
- Home-based users in Seattle, WA and Calgary, Alberta were given Connexus SD-WAN devices that used their home internet connections
- Lima, Peru used diverse customer-provided internet lines and a pair of Connexus SD-WAN devices, giving both comms and hardware resiliency
- Denver, CO had a single Connexus SD-WAN device using IPC’s Hybrid Architecture, with one MPLS circuit to an IPC POP and resiliency provided over their internet connection
BCP is another area in which using Connexus SD-WAN can build in extra resilience and flexibility. While dedicated disaster recovery sites aren’t going away in the long term, I do think that the need for fully diverse carrier connectivity to those sites might lessen. Furthermore, vast geographic requirements will make reliable and diverse connectivity more of a challenge. In this context, having the ability to scale DR sites up or down on the fly as needs and plans change can be a real differentiator in cost as well as strategy.
Connexus SD-WAN now brings the global reach of Connexus Cloud to remote sites and end users worldwide. It’s been built to the exacting specifications of capital markets participants, as have all of IPC’s innovative solutions. Let IPC use its expertise in managed network solutions to help get you connected to your users, wherever they may be.
© 2021 IPC Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The contents of this publication are intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal or regulatory advice.