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NetworkWorld: Win 2000 VPN technology causes stir

Jan 12, 2000, 00:31 (4 Talkback[s])

"Microsoft's IPSec 'flavor' [of VPN, virtual private network], jointly developed with Cisco, combines Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) with IPSec encryption in order to support non-IP protocols and authentication mechanisms attractive to companies conducting business-to-business e-commerce. Until fairly recently, it was unclear whether Microsoft would actually be able to squeeze the VPN features into Win 2000.

Now that Microsoft is readying Win 2000 for a Feb. 17 general release, VPN vendors are scrambling to add support for L2TP/IPSec to their offerings.

Newbridge, for instance, will upgrade its TimeStep Permit VPN gateway to support L2TP this year so that it can work with Microsoft clients as well as TimeStep IPSec clients, says Tim Hember, a vice president at Newbridge. 'But L2TP will be a burden on the customer - it doesn't scale up very well,' Hember grumbles.

'If you're using IP, we don't see the reason to use L2TP,' says Iris Tal, RadGuard's technical support manager. 'It only causes overhead for network traffic because it's 'double-tunneling.' But because of Microsoft's L2TP client software, I'm sure we'll do the support for it in our product.' "

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