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NetworkWorld: Win 2000 VPN technology causes stir

“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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