Application layer VPNs

* Easing the installation of IP VPNs via application layer technology

There's a whole group of vendors looking to ease the installation of IP VPNs by supporting application layer technology.

Companies such as Neoteris, NetSilica and Netilla Networks (the author of this week's Technology Update are all promising to save customers vast amounts of administrative time by using easily configurable hardware and requiring little or no software on remote machines.

According to our author, the central element of an application layer VPN is the application layer proxy, typically provided in the form of a dedicated network appliance. This offers a single point of administration while acting as a sentinel to the private network behind the firewall.

With an application layer VPN, remote users launch a browser and enter the URL for the application layer VPN appliance. The Secure Sockets Layer protocol is used to encrypt all data from the user's browser to the application layer proxy for two reasons: SSL provides strong security, and most Web browsers already incorporate SSL, making it a nearly ubiquitous client.

Analysts say this application layer VPN technology would work for most users - but it's still not as robust as say, IPSec is.  For more on this story see:


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