REDMOND, Wash., May 21, 1997 — Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. last week demonstrated interoperability of their layer 2 tunneling protocol (L2TP) implementations at the California ISDN Users Group meeting. L2TP is the emerging Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard protocol solution that allows users to create secure virtual private networks (VPNs) over public networks including the Internet.
Virtual private networks enable customers to use public networks such as the Internet to provide secure connection between remote users and their corporate networks without the expense of a dedicated private network. Cisco and Microsoft have been working with other industry leaders such as 3Com, Ascend and U.S. Robotics within the IETF to create the L2TP standard. Interoperability between these industry leaders’ technologies will offer customers choice and flexibility in virtual private networking.
“Microsoft is committed to working with industry leaders such as Cisco on the development of standards that will benefit our customers and the industry,” said Mike Nash, director of marketing for Windows NT Server and infrastructure products at Microsoft. “Through these efforts, Microsoft can give customers greater freedom of choice as they use VPNs to lower the cost of remote access while maintaining a high level of security.”
Interoperability between Cisco’s and Microsoft’s L2TP implementations demonstrates the companies’ commitment to the delivery of L2TP-based products in the future. Cisco and Microsoft will continue to support their existing virtual private networking solutions, layer 2 forwarding (L2F) and point to point tunneling protocol (PPTP), respectively, and to provide a smooth migration path to L2TP. Therefore, customers can implement these virtual private networking solutions today with complete assurance that their investments will be preserved in the future when L2TP becomes available.
“Cisco is collaborating with Microsoft and other industry leaders to provide an open, standard L2TP solution so that the entire industry wins,” said Art Feather, director of service provider marketing at Cisco Systems. “The industry benefits from a flexible combination of secure private Internet technologies, and customers benefit by having a greater variety of platforms and solutions.”
Cisco plans to have L2TP available in version 11.3 of Cisco IOS
™software and Microsoft plans to include L2TP in version 5.0 of the Microsoft Windows NT® Server network operating system. Currently in its third draft, L2TP is expected to reach RFC status later this year. The L2TP specification is available at [http://ds.internic.net/internet-drafts /draft-ietf-pppext-l2tp-03.txt] to any company wishing to implement tunneling within its products.
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