Monitor VPNs—The secure gateway to your networks
While SaaS has made digital transformation a cakewalk, the virtual private network (VPN) takes credit when it comes to remote work. A lot of enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, continue their seamless operations remotely and securely through their VPN.
VPNs enable private networks to communicate with the compute resources of public and shared networks. VPN connections are secured by data encryption, where data flows between the device and the network via a shielded path called a VPN tunnel. This ensures that business-critical customer data stays within the network. However, there is a chance that any security loophole in your application, an old operating system, or your home network can pose a threat to your VPN.
Why monitor a VPN?
We can confirm that a VPN is secure by monitoring the connections and the path to keep an eye on critical security metrics. This also ensures that the sensitive data transmitted is not accessible by intruders. To confirm that the VPN is performing optimally, network admins can also track the amount of data transmitted through the tunnels, the rate of transmission, and other performance metrics.
Metrics provide valuable insights
Key VPN performance metrics include VPN session count, tunnels count, data received, and data sent. Other VPN monitoring metrics include VPN tunnel in-octet, out-octet, tunnel-in packets, tunnel-out packets, latency, active secure sockets layer (SSL) sessions, active Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) VPN sessions, active web VPN sessions, and SSL login users.
How to approach VPN monitoring
To monitor VPN availability, conduct a basic Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) ping check. To analyze VPN health and the performance of a VPN, a monitoring tool with support for VPN devices is required. Preferably, the monitoring tool will also support SNMP and provide complete monitoring.
A VPN tunnel may flap, or lose its connection, due to many reasons, including a line condition or a hardware issue. A tunnel can also go down if it's idle for more than a specified time based on security protocols. However, it is crucial to be informed when a VPN tunnel flaps and SNMP traps are the best solutions to monitor VPN tunnel flaps. Devices send instant trap messages to monitoring tools while they process and send alarms to users.
How Site24x7 monitors VPNs—A step-wise approach
ICMP ping checks:Network admins can conduct a basic ping check by simply adding a device and checking if the VPN is available.
Custom reports:Generate custom reports on VPN usage daily and analyze the VPN use trends.
Site24x7 provides more than just VPN monitoring
Site24x7 helps network admins maintain control and ensure productivity by enabling them to monitor network systems from a robust dashboard view. The monitoring solution provided by Site24x7 helps network admins easily create custom dashboards to view important key metrics from one console, as well as configure thresholds, plus receive alerts through email, SMS, voice calls, and third-party tools like Jira and Slack.
Network admins can also map the network topology to identify connectivity issues and devices that are unavailable.
Since Site24x7 is cloud-based and is built for SaaS and remote work, network admins can access the network from anywhere using mobile apps. Site24x7 is the ideal solution for all businesses that need centralized monitoring with an array of tools available from a single console. Sign up now!
If your Windows RRAS is a standalone VPN, you can try our VPN plugin. Please follow the steps below:
- Download and install the latest version of the Site24x7 Windows agent in the network where you plan to run the plugin. If it is installed successfully, you will see a Windows server monitor in the Site24x7 Control Panel. This confirms that the agent is able to communicate with our data center.
- Download the vpn_check.py file from our GitHub repository.
- Edit the file 'vpn_check.py' to configure the VPN host and port to be monitored. Configure the URL to be monitored in the field 'URL_BEHIND_VPN' in the file 'vpn_check.py'.
- Create a folder with the name 'vpn_check', under the Site24x7 Windows agent plugin directory - C:\Program Files (x86)\Site24x7\WinAgent\monitoring\Plugins\ and place the 'vpn_check.py' file under 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Site24x7\WinAgent\monitoring\Plugins\vpn_check\'
Else if its within the Azure cloud, you can monitor your VPN Gateway with Azure monitoring.
Hope this helps. Please let us know if this solution is helpful to monitor the metrics you require. Also, when you find time, contribute to industry learning by participating in our survey.