• United States
Executive Editor

Netilla, PfN collaborate to offer SSL and IPSec options

Jan 22, 20042 mins

* Netilla and PfN team up to sell each other's gear

Two of the smaller Internet connectivity vendors, Netilla and PfN are teaming up to sell each other’s gear as a way to offer customers both Secure Sockets Layer and IPSec access to business networks.

While the relationship is a sales and marketing partnership – nobody is buying anybody here – it will give each company the ability to give their customers either SSL remote access capabilities or IPSec connectivity, either site-to-site or remote access.

This relationship implies that individual customers want both technologies in their networks. Neither Netilla nor PfN would want to sell the other’s equipment unless it was a boon for them as well.  This is what some of the larger IPSec and SSL vendors are doing only on a smaller scale. All of the largest IPSec VPN vendors have bought or developed SSL technology that they have incorporated in their product lines, again reinforcing that vendors must support both.

In the case of the Netilla-PfN alliance, the companies say they chose each other because they share a philosophy of finely controlling the access rights of individual users. So rather than all users gaining full network access via a PfN VPN, each user can be restricted to certain assets by a security profile enforced by PfN gear. Netilla, like most other SSL remote access vendors, can restrict access to specific applications user to user because SSL is an application-layer technology.

This branching out by SSL vendors to embrace IPSec seems to be part of the maturing of the market, and an inevitable step for vendors to take if they want to survive. It wouldn’t be surprising, therefore, if at some point the relationship between Netilla and PfN became more formalized, with the two merging, assuming this initial alliance works out.