Testing The Limits Of VPNs
by Eric Krapf

Published October 2001




In this sluggish corporate spending environment, Internet virtual private networks (VPNs) continue to attract attention as a way to reduce remote access costs for enterprise networks. For example, market researchers at Infonetics report that in 2Q01 the market for dedicated VPN hardware and software grew 19 percent quarter-over-quarter, to $535 million.


But while the number of implementations is clearly on the rise and VPN technology has become well understood, it also continues to be, in many respects, a work in progress. On the plus side, most of the noise about competing protocols has died away, leaving IPSec as the clear basis for VPNs going forward.

IPSec seems to be able to deliver the security that enterprises demand—assuming, of course, it's implemented correctly and security policies are followed. But there are technical issues to work through, and a number of real-life problems have cropped up. And on the issue of multivendor interoperability, real trouble may be brewing.



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