Streamline Your Network Connections with IBM’s VPN Offerings

2:34 pm
September 1, 2023

Establishing secure and efficient connections between networks and resources is crucial for data privacy and reliable access. However, managing multiple connections can be a hassle. Fortunately, IBM offers VPN solutions that can help optimize your network connections.

In this blog post, we will guide you on how to connect your on-premises environment and IBM Cloud VPC using a single Client-to-Site VPN connection. This solution allows end users to connect to their IBM Cloud VPC and on-premises resources using a single secure VPN connection.

To implement this optimized architecture, you will need to deploy a Client-to-Site VPN server and a Site-to-Site VPN gateway in your IBM Cloud account. We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up and configure these VPN connections to ensure seamless connectivity.

Prerequisites

Before getting started, make sure you have the following:

  • An IBM Cloud account with a VPC and at least one VSI deployed in the VPC to validate the VPN connection.
  • Required IAM permissions, Security Groups, and ACLs to create VPN gateway(s) and other necessary resources.
  • Peer device information from the on-premises location, including relevant Subnet CIDR information.
  • The OpenVPN client installed on your local laptop for validating VPN connectivity.

Summary of the Steps for Setting Up the VPNs

Here is an overview of the steps involved in setting up the two VPN connections:

  1. Create a Site-to-Site VPN gateway.
  2. Create Site-to-Site VPN routes.
  3. Configure authorization and authentication.
  4. Create a Client-to-Site VPN server.
  5. Create Client-to-Site VPN routes.
  6. Configure client profiles.
  7. Configure the OpenVPN client and validate connectivity.

Create the Site-to-Site VPN Gateway

The first step is to create a Site-to-Site VPN gateway in your IBM Cloud account. This gateway establishes the connection between IBM Cloud and your on-premises data center. You will need the Peer Gateway and Preshared Key from your on-premises environment. Follow the detailed instructions provided here to create the Site-to-Site VPN gateway.

Create the Site-to-Site VPN Routes

Once the VPN connection is in place, you need to create VPN routes to define egress routes from IBM Cloud VPC to your on-premises router. This ensures proper routing of traffic between the two environments. Detailed instructions on creating and managing routes can be found here.

Configure Authorization and Authentication

Prior to creating the Client-to-Site VPN connection, you need to generate client and server certificates and store them in IBM Cloud Secrets Manager. This step ensures secure authentication for the VPN. Follow the instructions provided here to generate and import the certificates. Additionally, you will need to establish service-to-service authorization for the VPN Server and IBM Cloud Secrets Manager. Instructions for creating IAM service-to-service authorization can be found here.

Create the Client-to-Site VPN Server

Next, create a Client-to-Site VPN server in your IBM Cloud account. This server allows end users to access resources within the VPC and the on-premises network. Detailed instructions on creating the Client-to-Site VPN server can be found here.

Create the Client-to-Site VPN Routes

After setting up the Client-to-Site VPN server, create two routes to allow end-user access to both the VPC and the remote/on-premises network. These routes ensure proper routing of traffic between the user’s device and the desired resources. Instructions for creating Client-to-Site VPN routes can be found here.

Configure the Client Profiles

Download the client profile from your VPN server and configure it with the necessary certificates and private key. This step ensures that the client can establish a secure connection to the VPN server. Instructions for configuring the client VPN environment can be found here.

Configure the OpenVPN Client and Validate Connectivity

Install an appropriate VPN client on your local machine and connect to the OpenVPN profile configured in the previous steps. This will allow you to access both the IBM Cloud VPC and the on-premises environment through the VPN connection. Detailed instructions on configuring the OpenVPN client and validating connectivity can be found here.

By following these steps, you can establish a secure and efficient VPN connection between your on-premises environment and IBM Cloud VPC, allowing seamless access to resources across both environments.

Learn More

To learn more about IBM Cloud VPC and its capabilities, you can visit the IBM Cloud VPC documentation.

FAQ

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It enables secure and encrypted communication over public networks by creating a private network connection using public infrastructure.

What is a Site-to-Site VPN?

A Site-to-Site VPN connects two or more networks securely over the internet. It allows organizations to securely extend their on-premises network to cloud environments.

What is a Client-to-Site VPN?

A Client-to-Site VPN, also known as a Remote Access VPN, allows individual users to securely connect to a network from a remote location. It provides users with access to network resources as if they were directly connected to the network.

Why is it important to establish secure VPN connections?

Secure VPN connections help protect sensitive data from unauthorized access and ensure reliable access to network resources. By encrypting data and establishing secure connections, VPNs enhance data privacy and maintain the integrity of network connections.


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