Intel Moves Further into Networking Space, Upgrades VPN Suite

It’s no secret that Intel Corp. is moving into the networking arena. The chip giant has spent the last couple years making networking acquisitions to gain products and, in turn, market share.

One purchase, Intel’s February acquisition of Shiva Corp., has enabled Intel to move into the VPN market.

"The direction we see the market going is toward VPNs that are easier to purchase, manage, and deploy," says Lori Cramer, product manager for virtual private networking systems and internetworking at Intel.

Earlier this month Intel released a new version of the suite it gained from the Shiva deal. Version 6.7 of Intel’s Shiva LanRover VPN Gateway and Client suite includes upgrades of existing products and the introduction of a new product: Shiva 1 VPN Client Deployment Tool (CDT).

The existing products -- Shiva LanRover VPN Gateway Plus 6.7, Shiva LanRover VPN Gateway 6.7, and the Shiva LanRover VPN Express 6.7 -- have been optimized for the new CDT and include new and enhanced features that improve interoperability, security, and manageability.

These features include multiple authentication options, including support for SoftID; a v.35 serial interface for VPN Express; ini.file improvements; enhanced RADIUS accounting and auditing; RADIUS authentication using Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP); dual-default gateway support; and an active Tunnels Summary Display.

The new client deployment tool is designed to help customers deploy large numbers of fully configured Intel VPN software clients.

Using a combination of e-mail and Web-based technologies, network managers can automate the traditionally complex and time-intensive process of installing, configuring, and managing VPN client software for remote users.

Intel says the new centralized solution for deploying VPN client software across the enterprise means network administrators won’t have to perform laptop recalls or physically visit regional and branch-offices for on-site client upgrades and installations.

The CDT also has features that help automatically manage and streamline client configuration by reading import files and gathering device and user information changes. This helps network managers and Internet service providers (ISPs) determine whether or not modifications have been made to device- or user-related data and ensure that they deploy the required client software only to those users that need it.

Additionally, the CDT supports encryption of VPN client configuration files and VPN authentication protocols to help provide trusted transfer of information. By storing deployment information, network managers and ISPs can closely track details of each installation for auditing purposes.

The suite ships with an unlimited number of client licenses. Customers, therefore, do not have to decide at the time of purchase how many VPNs they want to deploy.

Intel says that the enhancements made to the suite further its overall networking strategy.

"We’re serious about getting into the networking space," Cramer says. "We’ve made a number of acquisitions and realigned ourselves to prepare for this market. Moving forward, we’ll be focusing on solutions and services."