If you have been considering using a Secure Sockets Layer remote access alternative to an IPSec VPN remote access network, chances are you are getting closer to actually trying one, according to a new study.The report being published this week by Stratecast Partners says that interest in the technology is about to boom. "SSL VPN competitive landscape is now in the 'calm before the storm' phase," says Michael Suby, a senior research analyst with Stratecast.He credits several factors with this potential explosion:*Vendors haven't overhyped the products. By and large, the devices do what they say they can do and the companies that make them freely admit that in some cases IPSec VPNs are a better fit.*Prices have dropped and are expected to drop more, Suby says.*The applications that these SSL devices can access for remote users armed only with a Web browser are mainstream. This means that these appliances will be able to meet most of the needs of a large number of end users.Suby predicts that the SSL remote access vendors will slow their push to support more and more applications. Rather, they will seek to integrate with IPSec and Multi-protocol Label Switching VPNs as an augmentation.Suby also says there are too many companies specializing in just SSL remote access. Among those are Aspelle, Aventail, Neoteris and SafeWeb. Suby says some of these will merge, some will be bought up by larger networking vendors and others will go by the wayside.Some of these vendors will get a boost from teaming up with service providers to back remote access services that enable users to connect securely to corporate networks from virtually any Internet connected PC. These services will likely be bundled with Internet access services.The Stratecast report is called "SSL VPN Sector Assessment", and they charge money for it. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want it.