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Cisco secures mobile tunnel capability

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Cisco has added Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP) to its IOS software for Access VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). It will reduce network management costs, simplify WAN operations and allow companies to focus on their core competencies, said Cisco. L2PT is a hybrid produced from the crossing of Cisco’s Layer 2 Forwarding (L2F) protocol and Microsoft’s Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP). The tunnelling utility will enable service providers to offer secure VPNs to customers who need to communicate with remote users and telecommuters. Peter Crowcombe, an analyst at Spikes Cavelle, said the most important aspect of the announcement was the mobile side. “Mobile comms is the biggest technical challenge because of the bandwidth problem,” he said. “It will not solve the bandwidth problem, but any added options with mobile comms are a bonus.” L2TP establishes secure tunnels between users across the service providers shared network or across the Internet. Crowcombe said it was another move towards the ‘global village’. “It is an incremental step that will be important for some people,” he concluded. “Business customers are looking for service providers to deliver services that have the same policies as their private networks,” said Larry Lang, VP of marketing at Cisco. The new protocol would allow users to do just that, while keeping their costs down, the company said.

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