IBM has unveiled a raft of new VPN products to speed up the deployment of virtual private networking and push forward its ebusiness strategy.
The new software and hardware from the Networking Hardware Division combines standards based quality of service functionality with management tools for virtual private networks.
The first stages of its policy based network strategy use the Ldap client and Differentiated Services (Diff Serv) standard, allowing users to administer and configure their QoS and VPN policies using a central directory server. New hardware based encryption is also on the agenda, which the company claims will ease processor consumption.
IBM is also providing a software migration path for customers choosing to deploy Voice over Frame Relay first and migrate to VoIP at a later date. Voice packet forwarding over frame relay, includes class of service specifically for voice traffic, via the 2212 Access Utility.
Key to the rollout is a patent pending 'rapid classification' algorithm and two new management applications.
The algorithm, which IBM will implement in its router software, will speed up the throughput of data from 30,000 packets per second to 130,000 packets per second. It uses the IP Diff Serv standard that allows administrators to prioritise traffic.
The management applications include Nways Manager for monitoring functions that have been configured; and Nways Deployment Manager, which enables administrators to automatically upgrade or configure up to 2,000 routers simultaneously.
One IBM customer, who is waiting for VPNs to mature before considering deployment, sees potential in IBM's approach.
"The fact that it's standards based, has centralised management of security policies and is implemented across the product line looks promising," said Brain Spears, director of IT at Konica Business Technologies. Spears plans to begin "tinkering" with IBM's new offerings as soon as they are available.
John Stanley-Smith, technical consultant at IBM networking systems, said: "All this VPN functionality including administration, security and local Web caching is for customers moving into the Internet world. It is aimed at supporting an ecommerce environment and for those that want extra functions on top to run their business safely."
All the new software and hardware modules for the router family will be available in June. IBM was unable to release pricing.
For more stories see 30 March issue of PC Week UK
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