VPNs: Is The Time Now?: Page 2

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Some of the key capabilities companies should demand of their VPNs are:

Speed: Speed is a crucial criterion in choosing a VPN. For large enterprises VPN solutions exist that run at speeds up to 2G bit/sec and offer 100 to in excess of 40,000 VPN tunnels. The critical component of exploiting the speed is the technology's capacity to scale over a line of products. By having the ASIC engine that can be implemented in every VPN appliance from the Soho to the medium size business up to the high-density service provider or Fortune 500 HQ, the installation strategy can be managed effectively with no compromise on performance.

Security and cost reduction: VPNs are a compelling business solution because they provide the highest end-to-end security at wire-speed at a sizable cost reduction compared to a private network. They provide strong security (3DES-CBC mode) for users and managers of Fortune 500 companies, hosted e-business sites and applications, branch offices and mobile or remote workers. A VPN solution, an IPSec client and a firewall combine to control access to information, while protecting against Internet intrusion. By implementing a VPN solution that integrates additional security applications such as intrusion detection, digital certificate support, DOS, Radius capability and client authentication, a powerful communications platform is developed using the Internet for the transport of company business information.

Vastly increased flexibility: VPN infrastructure equipment today should provide a scalable architecture to evolve with your business. VPN appliances should provide multiple network interfaces, solid high availability functionality, a scalable product line, interoperability with existing infrastructure equipment and network management, eliminating the need for additional network devices. Port configurations include failover provisioning, so that in an event of port failure, another port will automatically take over, keeping your network operational. VLANs and virtual routers enable multiple virtual networks to be hosted on one physical infrastructure. Implementation flexibility should include a management interface that allows customization of the communication platform as well as rock solid fail-over for nearly every hardware and software component as is warranted within the network infrastructure.

Robert Bova is executive vice president of The Americas and Pacific Rim at Asita Technologies and can be reached at bob.bova@asitatechnologies.com.

This article was first published in Intranet Journal, an internet.com site.

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