Search /
Docfinder:
Advanced search  |  Help  |  Site map
RESEARCH CENTERS
SITE RESOURCES
Click for Layer 8! No, really, click NOW!
Networking for Small Business
TODAY'S NEWS
Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?
Americans cool with lab-grown organs, but not designer babies
IE6: Retired but not dead yet
Enterprise who? Google says little about Apps, business cloud services in Q1 report
DDoS Attackers Change Techniques To Wallop Sites
Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess'
AMD's profitability streak ends at two quarters
Michaels says breach at its stores affected nearly 3M payment cards
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada
H-1B loophole may help California utility offshore IT jobs
How a cyber cop patrols the underworld of e-commerce
For Red Hat, it's RHEL and then…?
Will the Internet of Things Become the Internet of Broken Things?
Kill switches coming to iPhone, Android, Windows devices in 2015
Israeli start-up, working with GE, out to detect Stuxnet-like attacks
Galaxy S5 deep-dive review: Long on hype, short on delivery
Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints
Windows XP's retirement turns into major security project for Chinese firm
Teen arrested in Heartbleed attack against Canadian tax site
Still deploying 11n Wi-Fi?  You might want to think again
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud
Can Heartbleed be used in DDoS attacks?
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested
/

Win 2000 VPN technology causes stir

Today's breaking news
Send to a friendFeedback


REDMOND, WASH. - When it ships next month, Microsoft's Windows 2000 will come with technology for setting up an IP Security-based virtual private network (VPN). The question is: Will established VPN products from other vendors work with Microsoft's technology?

It appears that the answer will be a grudging "yes." Many VPN vendors have ardently opposed Microsoft's implementation, complaining it adds data overhead and slows down transaction processing. But these same companies, such as Check Point Software and Newbridge Networks, acknowledge that they can't afford to ignore that hundreds of thousands of desktops will probably end up running Microsoft's new software.

Microsoft's IPSec "flavor," 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.

Another VPN competitor, RadGuard, has also been forced to recalculate its strategy in the face of the Microsoft VPN invasion.

"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."

"If Microsoft weren't delivering this in their operating system, there would be a lot less gnashing of teeth," notes Mark Elliott, a product line manager at Check Point, which counts 15 million of its own VPN clients on desktops. "But we have to support the Microsoft client because we presume it will be the general enterprise desktop client later in 2000."

Ashley Laurent, a company in Austin, Texas that builds IPSec software code for large vendors, including IBM and foreign military organizations, is working on L2TP-based IPSec code under con-tract for unnamed customers.

The company is doing so somewhat reluctantly. "We won't recommend L2TP to our customers," says Jeff Goodwin, Ashley Laurent's CEO. The company's analysis of Windows 2000's VPN technology shows that it is unstable and adds 10% more overhead to data content during transmissions.

Still, Goodwin notes that the IPSec efforts of the IETF and industry groups such as the International Computer Security Association have not yet successfully resolved the technical issues pertaining to building a strong, interoperable IPSec client. He hopes the recent IETF draft "DHCP Configuration of IPSec in Tunnel Mode" and the "XAUTH" authentication proposal eventually will replace Microsoft's L2TP.

But with VPN vendors embroiled in interoperability battles for years and the problem of the IPSec client unresolved, Microsoft's entry with its Win 2000 VPN will be a tempting prospect for the user community.

Microsoft customers will need L2TP with IPSec to make use of various password-based authentication protocols, such as Pap, Chap, MSChap and the Extensible Authentication Protocol, says Rob Cully, Microsoft's lead product manager for Windows networking. He points out that Win 2000 also includes a Radius server for handing off these types of authentication requests.

Microsoft's VPN technology can also be used to encrypt multicast conference sessions, such as those using NetMeeting.

Not all vendors have been opposed to L2TP, Cully says, pointing out that 3Com, Lucent, Nortel Networks, Altiga Networks and Network Alchemy are in the process of deploying or testing L2TP/ IPSec in their products.

However, Cully says there's some truth in the criticism that Microsoft's IPSec raises overhead. And for that reason, Microsoft has included technology in Win 2000 to help companies build encryption accelerators that speed up transaction processing on machines running Microsoft's new software.

In the next few weeks, nCipher will announce a version of its nFast accelerator for Win 2000, company sources say. Separately, 3Com is shipping a card dubbed Typhoon, and Intel is working on a coprocessor that supports Win 2000 and that will ship later this year.

RELATED LINKS

Contact Senior Editor Ellen Messmer

Other recent articles by Messmer

Review: Windows 2000
Find out how the new operating system fared in our test.
Network World, 1/3/00.

Microsoft's VPN site
for Windows.

Microsoft struts Windows 2000 VPN features
Network World, 09/13/99.

How to choose the right VPN product
Network World, 05/10/99.

The vaunted VPN
Network World, 09/27/99.

Sign up for our Fusion Focus on VPNs newsletter
Find out about all the latest VPN products and services.

Contact Senior Editor Ellen Messmer

Other recent articles by Messmer

Review: Windows 2000
Find out how the new operating system fared in our test.
Network World, 1/3/00.

Microsoft's VPN site
for Windows.

Microsoft struts Windows 2000 VPN features
Network World, 09/13/99.

How to choose the right VPN product
Network World, 05/10/99.

The vaunted VPN
Network World, 09/27/99.

Sign up for our Fusion Focus on VPNs newsletter
Find out about all the latest VPN products and services.

RELATED LINKS


NWFusion offers more than 40 FREE technology-specific email newsletters in key network technology areas such as NSM, VPNs, Convergence, Security and more.
Click here to sign up!
New Event - WANs: Optimizing Your Network Now.
Hear from the experts about the innovations that are already starting to shake up the WAN world. Free Network World Technology Tour and Expo in Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York.
Attend FREE
Your FREE Network World subscription will also include breaking news and information on wireless, storage, infrastructure, carriers and SPs, enterprise applications, videoconferencing, plus product reviews, technology insiders, management surveys and technology updates - GET IT NOW.