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VPN A cost effective alternative The need for connectivity to the company network outside of the office has increased dramatically in the past several years As telecommuting and integration of back offices due to the acquisition of other companies become standard procedure for IT departments there has never been a greater need for remote access to corporate data E-mail and applications In the past it was possible for companies of all sizes to make this type of visibility available to only executives and top sales people using a low end access server several phone lines and a modem With these executive and sales types just happy to connect for whatever reason to copy a file or update a database there was never a question about speed or the cost of this infrastructure As the Internet continues to dominate our personal life and billions of dollars are spent improving the Internet infrastructure so that it can be used to its greatest potential speed is the name of the game and everybody wants to connect This presents new and difficult problems for IT departments at companies of all sizes How can an IT group build a scalable solution that is generic enough to solve all of these networking issues access for mobile users remote site connectivity E commerce with trading partners and a solid internal structure that leverages investments in infrastructure Use the Internet By implementing a Virtual Private Network VPN a remote user site or trading partner can connect to another network through the existing Internet infrastructure Figure A Using a combination of tunneling encryption and access controls VPNs allow users to connect securely to a corporate server located on a corporate LAN using the routing infrastructure provided by a public internetwork such as the Internet Connection to the Internet can be made by using any combination of access technologies including T1 frame relay ISDN ATM
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