Three major network companies will present solutions to the problem of transparent, secure access to virtual private networks at a conference in Washington later this month. The technology, dubbed tunnelling by the different vendors, allows secure links to be set up across public networks and the Internet, so that people can access their email and corporate systems from anywhere in the world.
Bay Networks, 3Com and Cisco will all offer competing solutions in a bid to capture the corporate business market as it moves wholesale to Intranets on the back of the Internet.
Trevor Dearing, UK product manager at Bay Networks, said this will be a lucrative market. He said: ?This is happening throughout the marketplace and we?re making an announcement soon. It means you can dial a local point of presence (POP) and then end up in your own company.?
3Com?s solution differs little from Bay Networks' - both are supporting emerging POP standards - except it has recruited major comms manufacturer US Robotics to its cause. That company needs to expand out of the modem market, which it dominates, to achieve similar status in the Intranet world. The strategic deal may give it an advantage. However, the company refused to comment on its future announcements.
Cisco too will make announcements at the same show, confirmed Olivier Cognet, core product marketing manager for the Emea region. He said: ?The whole goal of tunnelling is to set up Intranets with the L2F protocol.? That, he said, meant large corporations can use a single IP number and distribute it throughout their enterprises using a single password. The password, he said, will be the key.
?Before having anything you?ll have to have the password,? Cognet said. ?It?s an authentication. What?s brand new is that the Internet Protocol (IP) is not specified. We?ve been developing this with our software.? That, Cognet admitted, was based on a close alliance between Cisco and Microsoft.
?We?ll be able to develop value added services with it. This is a major standard and is not proprietary because both Microsoft and Cisco believe in open systems.?
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