REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Internet Connection Services for Microsoft® Remote Access Service (RAS) Commercial Edition. The new software enables ISPs, telephone companies and other network service providers to supply enhanced virtual private networking (VPN) services to their corporate customers.
VPNs are popular because they promise to replace or supplement more expensive dedicated corporate networks with lower-cost, secure connections over IP-based networks, including the Internet or internal corporate intranets, and to facilitate the formation of external extranet partnerships.
Internet Connection Services for Microsoft RAS Commercial Edition increases service revenue opportunities for network operators while reducing total networking costs for them and their corporate customers. Microsoft’s comprehensive and customizable VPN and telecommuting solution provides the ease of use, security, authentication flexibility, and centralized management that organizations cite as requirements for a credible VPN solution.
Major network service providers with a total of more than 3,000 dial-up locations in 150 countries actively support the enhanced VPN services of Internet Connection Services for RAS for the Windows NT® Server operating system. This unparalleled industry support enables corporate remote and mobile employees to connect securely and seamlessly to their remote network resources virtually anywhere on the globe.
Features Tailored for Commercial Service Providers (See Addendum)
Internet Connection Services for Microsoft RAS Commercial Edition builds on the enhanced VPN capabilities already provided for corporations in Windows NT Server 4.0 including the Connection Manager, the Connection Manager Adaptation Kit and Connection Point Services. For more information on these products, visit http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/commserv/default.asp . The Commercial Edition adds specific features to allow ISPs to provide custom outsourced management and infrastructure for a corporation’s VPN, most notably Internet Authentication Server Commercial Edition (RADIUS Server and RADIUS Proxy Server) and interfaces to multiple database backends. For more information on these products, visit http://www.microsoft.com/isn/ . See the attached addendum for a complete description of features in the Commercial Edition.
Global Roaming Today, for Traveling Executives, Mobile Sales Forces, Telecommuters
Internet Connection Services for RAS Commercial Edition has been adopted by the major roaming alliances, including AimQuest Corp., iPass Inc. and HomeGate Corp. These alliances comprise major telecommunications firms and hundreds of ISPs internationally with thousands of local access points around the globe. These global networks ensure that users can make very economical, high-quality connections to the Internet for easy and secure access to their corporate network resources from almost anywhere in the world.
These alliances have adopted Internet Connection Services for RAS as the standard for their member network providers and corporate accounts to simplify network access, minimize support and provide centralized management and updating of their members’ phone books. As networking service specialists, each alliance has capitalized on the flexibility and extensibility of the Windows® operating system-based communications platform to enhance the comprehensive billing and settlements services they provide, and to enable simpler, more productive and more economical remote access services for corporations.
To learn more about the rich VPN communications technology of Windows NT Server, see http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/ . The corporate version of Internet Connection Services for Microsoft RAS is included in the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, available now via the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/iis/ .
Corporations can also obtain the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack CD from a local reseller for an estimated retail price of $99.95. This software is also scheduled to be included with Windows NT 4.0 Server shipments starting early 1998.
Internet Connection Services for Microsoft RAS Commercial Edition, as an upgrade to the basic version, requires Windows NT 4.0 and the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack. The Commercial Edition software components are scheduled to be available for download to ISPs, telephone companies and other qualified network operators after Dec. 19, as a pre-release version of Microsoft Commercial Internet System 2.0. To obtain this software, network service providers need to register on the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/isn/ .
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Network Operators, Global Roaming Alliances
Praise Microsoft VPN Solution
“internetMCI VPN is a truly comprehensive global VPN solution that leverages the power of MCI’s industrial-strength Internet backbone. Microsoft Connection Manager makes it simple, with its automatically updating phone book taking the guesswork out of configuring connections to more than 800 dial-up numbers in 50 countries around the world.”
– Stephen VonRump
Vice President Of Enterprise Marketing
“GridNet International is a premium provider of domestic and international VPN services. We implement products that enhance security and provide seamless integration with existing corporate networks at minimal cost. Microsoft Internet Connection Services deployment will handle the task of timely user notification about access telephone numbers both for new points of presence and for enhanced services at existing POPs. Integration of the security and authentication components into our VPN offering will make strong dial security far less complex for end users to configure.”
– Tim Southard
Director of IS
“iPass unites hundreds of ISPs to enable global Internet roaming and remote access to corporate networks worldwide through more than 1,800 access points in 150 countries and are always focused on enhancing our services to them. Microsoft has already played a key role in providing enhanced services with Windows NT and PPTP as a VPN solution for secure Internet-based corporate remote access. With the continued rapid expansion of our network, it is also imperative that we can readily maintain the iPass phone book. Microsoft’s Internet Connection Services offers a rich set of functionality to ensure that the iPass phone book is always current, including information about access speeds available and costs to the user.”
– Chris Moore
President and CEO
“Making it easy for corporate users to find and connect securely to remote networks is key to our providing global roaming and remote access to our high-performance TCP/IP GRIC network. Microsoft Internet Connection Services combines this ease of use with powerful phone book management. The combination of Microsoft’s VPN solution with AimQuest’s settlement and billing services will allow GRIC’s dial-up network of more than 200 top Internet service providers and 20 telcos to provide a secure dial-up network over thousands of POPs worldwide, enabling corporate users to get into their networks conveniently and securely wherever they go.”
– Dr. Hong Chen
Founder, President and CEO
Clearinghouse of the GRIC Alliance
Features Tailored for Commercial Service Providers
ICS for Microsoft RAS Commercial Edition builds on the enhanced VPN capabilities already provided for corporations in Windows NT Server 4.0., providing specific additional features to allow ISPs to provide custom outsourced management and infrastructure for a corporation’s VPN. The features for Network operators include:
Connection Manager. A customizable client RAS dialer with a network access phone book enables users to connect via a local service provider access point transparently and economically. The client software enables single-click logon facility of encapsulated and highly encrypted sessions for secure connections to corporate networks via the Internet. The preconfigured client, wizards integration and customizable Help files make clients more self-sufficient, reducing associated support calls and line fees for an economical VPN solution.
Connection Manager Administration Kit. A step-by-step wizard enables a network administrator to completely customize the Connection Manager client RAS dialer with branding, custom help files and extensible application events keyed on connection or termination of a network session.
Connection Point Services. This Windows NT Service enables an organization to manage and integrate multiple phone books centrally and distribute these access phone numbers incrementally to their remote users automatically. This software ensures that mobile users always have an up-to-date phone book of local access numbers that is easy to use and manage.
Internet Authentication Server Commercial Edition (RADIUS Server and RADIUS Proxy Server). Internet Authentic Server (IAS) provides RADIUS access, authentication and accounting services for closer collaboration and expanded services between corporations and Internet service providers. IAS enables the authentication of users to the network by either the ISP or the corporation, and provides for centralized management of subscribers or employees.
Multiple database back ends. For greater flexibility, the software supports authentication to a Windows NT-based server user account database, or a local user flat-file data store, Membership Server (a component of Microsoft Commercial Internet System), for transparent logon to the network and a host of Web application servers, and any ODBC-compliant database, such as Microsoft SQL Server
For more information:
Microsoft Windows NT Server, Option Pack: http://www.microsoft.com/iis/
Internet Connection Services for Microsoft RAS: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/commserv/default.asp
Internet Connection Services for RAS Commercial Edition: (http://www.microsoft.com/isn/)