Site2Cloud

The Problem

Traditionally enterprises host their IT applications in their own datacenter or at a co-location. Remote sites typically connect to the datacenter via an Internet based IPSec VPN tunnel or MPLS based private network. Such a hub and spoke architecture has been prevalent in the last 15 years.

A problem with this deployment architecture is long latency or unstable Internet connectivity suffered by remote sites, especially between those in different continents. Such problems cause application time out, resulting in lost productivity and unhappy user experience. The solution to this pain point has been to deploy some form of WAN optimization gears in both the remote sites and datacenter to reduce application latency and reduce data bandwidth. These gears are complex, expensive and not every enterprise can afford them, and in some cases, they don’t always work well.

Solution: Bring Application to User

With the many regions in the world available brought by public cloud providers, such as AWS and Azure, the application latency issue can now be solved in a brand new way. By placing applications in a region of public cloud that your remote sites are closer to than to the datacenter, the long latency issue is eliminated all together. In addition, by moving servers to the cloud, you can reduce remote sites footprint and the amount of hardware to manage, thus reducing cost for ongoing maintenance.

The comparison between the two deployment architecture is described below:

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In the diagram above, remote sites or branch offices connect to headquarter datacenter via IPSec tunnels. International sites across continents can experience hundreds or more milliseconds in latency and in some countries, connectivity to headquarter is unstable at times.

The first step in deploying application close to user is to build a new network architecture as shown in the right side of the diagram above. A remote site now connects via IPSec tunnel to a closest Aviatrix gateway in a VPC or VNet in a region closest to the site. Different remote sites many connect to different Aviatrix gateways. For example, sites in China connect to Aviatrix gateways in Azure China region and sites in Europe connect to Aviatrix gateway in a VPC in AWS eu-west-1 region.

After the new network is deployed, you can now replicate Active Directory to VPC/VNet, and deploy applications such as ERP in the cloud too. The AD authentication latency and application latency can be reduced to tens of milliseconds. In addition, the remotes are simpler with fewer hardware equipment to manage.

Configuration Workflow

Before you start make sure you have the latest software by checking the Dashboard. If an alert message displays, click Upgrade to download the latest software.

The Site2Cloud configuration workflow is as follows, with major steps highlighted.

  1. Create a gateway in a VPC where you like to connect to sites.

    Go to Gateway -> New Gateway. The gateway may have VPN Access disabled.

  2. (Optional) Create a secondary gateway in the same VPC for HA.

    Go to Gateway -> New Gateway. The gateway may have VPN access disabled.

  3. Create a connection to a remote site

    Go to site2Cloud -> Add New, make sure,

    1. Select the VPC/VNet Name where Aviatrix gateway for encryption is launched.
    2. If HA is not enabled:
      1. At Gateway field, select a gateway launched in the earlier step.
    3. Else if HA is enabled:
      1. At Primary Gateway field, select a gateway launched earlier as primary gateway.
      2. At Backup Gateway field, select a gateway launched earlier as backup gateway.
    4. Input the connection with a unique name, for example, NewYork-site.
    5. at Remote Gateway Type, select “AWS VGW” if the remote site is a VPC with AWS VGW VPN gateway; select “Aviatrix” if the remote site is on-prem Aviatrix gateway; select “Generic” if the remote site gateway is a third party router or firewall.
    6. At Remote Gateway IP Address, enter the public IP address of the edge router for the remote site. Note if the Remote Gateway Type is Aviatrix, the Remote Gateway IP address is the public IP address of the site.
    7. At Remote Subnet, enter network CIDR of the remote/customer site. If there are multiple subnets, enter each one separated with comma. For example, you may enter “192.168.1.0/24,192.168.2.0/24” without the quote.
    8. Pre-shared Key is an optional field. If you leave it blank, Aviatrix will auto generate a pre-shared key. You can paste your own pre-shared key if you prefer.
    9. Do not select Private Route Encryption. (This feature is for overlay encryption on a AWS Direct Connect or Azure Express Route)
    10. If you leave Local Subnet blank, Local Subnet will be the VPC/VNet CIDR. You can add more Local Subnet CIDR blocks, separate by comma. Make sure you include the VPC/VNet as well. These Local Subnets are advertised to Remote Subnets that the site2cloud connection can reach. You can change this settings later.
    11. Algorithms field is prepopulated with default values. Click the field if you need to customize the algorithms.
    12. Click OK to create a connection.
  4. Generate remote site configuration template

    Go to site2Cloud

    1. Select the connection you just created, a EDIT panel will appear.
    2. Click Download Configuration.
    3. If your remote site device is not listed in the dropdown menu, simply select an available one in the menu.
    4. Click “Yes, Download” to download a template file that contains the gateway public IP address, VPC CIDR, pre-shared secret and encryption algorithm. Incorporate the information to your remote router/firewall configuration. If the remote gateway is a Aviatrix CloudN, go to site2cloud and simply import the downloaded configuration file and click OK.

Troubleshooting

To check a tunnel state, go to Site2Cloud, the tunnel status will be displayed in a pop up window.

To troubleshoot a tunnel state, go to Site2Cloud -> Diagnostics.