Case study: Global VPN service provider expands to APAC with Zenlayer

Key points

Expanded to APAC and added more locations by leveraging Zenlayer Bare Metal.
Simplified and reduced costs by switching to 95% burstable aggregate bandwidth billing.
Maximized service availability using Zenlayer’s premium network blend.


About the customer

Industry: VPN services
Needs: Emerging market connectivity, server testing, coverage expansion
Zenlayer services used: Bare Metal, IP Transit

The customer is an established, global VPN service provider that offers services to protect user privacy online and provide secure access to geo-restricted sites and content around the world. On top of standard VPN services, the customer also offers other privacy and security products geared towards individuals and businesses.

Due to rising levels of censorship from governments and other entities, particularly in regions of the world that are still developing, internet users from heavily geo-restricted countries are increasingly turning to VPN services to browse the web. The customer saw this demand spike in emerging markets and wanted to extend their success to APAC. In addition to growing their user base, this expansion would also enable the customer to enrich its service by offering existing users additional location choices.


The challenge

As the customer started to look for partners to facilitate their expansion, they soon found that sourcing the right provider whose network had the performance they needed, the coverage they wanted, and prices within their budget was incredibly difficult.

Many parts of China and the regions in Southeast Asia were not equipped with modernized network infrastructure, leading to spotty performance and availability issues. Further, the customer needed geolocated servers across multiple countries, which made it especially challenging to find local providers who would be able to meet their business requirements.


Growing the VPN user base with Zenlayer’s global network

During their search for the right partner, the customer found Zenlayer and was impressed with the company’s partnership with the largest telco providers in APAC, thousands of peers around the world, and a track record of successfully helping businesses expand into emerging markets. Conveniently, Zenlayer also had a strong, existing network of edge PoPs in the APAC region.

The customer requested server tests for connectivity and performance before fully committing their expansion with Zenlayer. On Zenlayer’s recommendation, the customer deployed two VPN PoPs using Zenlayer Bare Metal. Upon seeing the speed at which Zenlayer was able to set up the servers along with favorable test results, the customer decided to partner with the company to deploy VPN PoPs in Beijing, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Manila, and Moscow.


Controlling costs with a more flexible billing model

Due to the ever-evolving nature of VPN services, the customer needed to quickly spin up test servers in various locations. As VPN servers need to constantly reroute user traffic all over the world, the combined costs of keeping existing servers running and frequently spinning up new ones for tests heavily cut into the customer’s bottom line.

With Zenlayer, the customer was able to switch over from unpredictable data transfer pricing, which quickly soared from the massive amounts of traffic that routinely flowed through their VPN servers, to a more predictable aggregate model, which helped them cut costs with unmetered bandwidth billing. Zenlayer’s pricing model not only helped the customer simplify and improve cost efficiency, but also allowed them to shift traffic between underutilized and overloaded servers to minimize downtime and wasted bandwidth.

Further, compared to more commonly seen annual contracts, Zenlayer’s pay-as-you-go model with 95% burstable bandwidth gave the customer more agility to scale their operations, and helped them avoid overcommitting to higher bandwidth tiers out of the fear that sudden spikes of traffic would accrue huge financial penalties down the road.


Ensuring maximum availability for VPN users around the world

Before finding Zenlayer, the customer tested servers from other providers in the region for network performance. Not only did few providers offer geolocated servers, which were vital for VPN services to give users the option of selecting their desired regional IP address, but even fewer were able to meet their performance requirements while remaining fiscally feasible.

Zenlayer’s geolocated servers passed their tests with flying colors with 15% lower latency on average compared to other providers in the area. Additionally, Zenlayer’s network blend of the best local carriers in APAC ensured stable performance that keeps the customer’s VPN service at maximum availability for their users worldwide.


Looking ahead

Zenlayer will continue to provide edge compute services that include bare metal and virtual machines to give the customer the agility they need to quickly scale and test out key markets for further expansions. With a trusted partner like Zenlayer, the customer is now able to dedicate less of their resources to infrastructure and instead focus on developing new features and services that maximize value for their users worldwide.


Expand your global footprint with Zenlayer

Zenlayer’s bare metal offerings, local expertise, and responsive 24/7 support team helped the customer quickly and cost-effectively break into the massive Chinese market and surrounding APAC markets with overwhelming success.

If your business is looking to expand its global footprint, improve experiences for users, or accelerate apps or services, talk to a Zenlayer solution expert today!

For instant provisioning, check out zenConsole — our self-service platform that lets you deploy around the world in minutes.




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