Lucent launches secure VPN portfolio for e-business

Lucent Technologies has released a one-stop shop Secure VPN platform to allow enterprises to centrally manage their virtual private network (VPN).

The broad portfolio incorporates a suite of software and hardware products providing an end-to-end VPN and WAN solution.

The platform hits the nail on the head of business demand for converged networks, claimed Ron Chan, vice president of Lucent's WAN systems group.

The current networking concern for new economy corporations is the need for VPN convergence of voice, video and data over a single IP network, Chan believes.

"VPNs are critical and integral to building next-generation services," said Chan. "VPNs allow virtual commerce, virtual networking and a virtual workforce.

"The task of building networks squeezes businesses out of focusing on core competencies," he said.

From 1998 to 2000, there was $US12 billion growth in hardware for VPN set-up worldwide. Chan estimates this will grow to $US60 billion. The bulk of operation revenue will come from services and the integration model or "IP transport", he believes.

Since site-to-site communication across the internet demands a secure network, Chan said businesses did not need the "problem" of multi-vendors needing access to an entire IT network. "It's a management nightmare," he said.

Therefore, enterprises are seeking "wider, pervasive, more secure" technology, according to Chan. Lucent is providing an "all-in-one solution in a single, consolidated box", he said.

The Hilton Hotel Group is believed to be deploying its VPN on Lucent's new platform, with plans to roll out in Australia, according to a company spokeswoman. However, Lucent was not ready to release local customer names or an earnings forecast for the new VPN portfolio, she said.

Lucent's Secure VPN platform includes Access Point, Pipeline and SuperPipe routers for large-scale remote branch VPNs; Security Management Server V5.0 for remote mobile users; VPN Firewall 80 which extends security features of Firewall 201; LSMS policy management software; and IPSec client with enhanced deployment and security features. VPN Firewall 80 is priced at under $US5000.

Express Data will be the master distributor of the suite in Australia and New Zealand.