April 06, 2001, 11:04 AM — Nokia has been cranking out VPN boxes tailored for both large and small enterprises.
The company next month is shipping three new members of its "IP" line of Internet VPN appliances, two for small offices and one for midsized branch offices. The IP51 and IP55 are designed for 10-25 user offices and support both site-to-site and dial-up connections. The IP530 is for 50-500 user offices.
Both feature Check Point Softwares VPN-1/Firewall-1 software and perform Data Encryption Standard-3 encryption.
The difference between the IP51 and IP55 is that the IP55 has an asymmetric DSL port built in. The IP51 has two Ethernet ports, one of which would connect to a WAN router or other WAN access device. The other could connect to other LAN devices or to a demilitarized zone, the space behind a corporate WAN router where an enterprise might locate a Web server used by corporate partners but that is still outside the corporate firewall.
The IP55 costs $1,295 and the IP 51 costs $895.
The analysts who track these things already credit Nokia with holding a large chunk of the VPN market, and these additions should make them more attractive. Customers that want to drop VPN access into offices that lack their own technical support staff may find these preconfigured firewall/VPN appliances convenient. The less time IT has to spend with them, the lower the total cost of the VPN and the faster new sites can be added.
Nokia also recently introduced Nokia CA200 and CA600 SSL accelerators. These devices handle Secure Sockets Layer security for Web servers, improving the transaction speed of Secure Sockets Layer-protected sites. These devices employ clustering and load-balancing technology Nokia acquired with the purchase of Network Alchemy. Look for this technology to be added to VPN gear.