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VPN Solution (WAS: ORBS (Re: Scanning))
From: "Patrick W. Gilmore" <patrick () ianai net>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 01:24:58 -0400


At 06:58 PM 5/27/2001 -0700, Owen DeLong wrote:

>Roaming staff usually needs some form of VPN access, anyway, and even if
>they don't, this is a great use for one.  Put a VPN client on the roamer's
>computer (Linux, Mac, and Windows 9x/NT/ME/2k all have IPSEC capable clients
>available), then use the VPN to get back to the mail relay.  If the mail
>relay is behind the VPN tunnel termination point at the server end, then
>it should only accept mail for relay from valid VPN clients.  As such,
>you solve the roaming staff problem without an open relay.  VPN boxes
>like Ravlin and Nokia Crypto Cluster are cheap enough today that I would
>consider it a valid cost of doing business if you don't have a better
>solution.

I have an "operational" question.  (SURPRISE! :)

VPN solutions are getting inexpensive. However, they are sometimes far from optimal.

The VPN solutions I have used (e.g. Bay Networks, MS PPTP) send *every* packet from the end user machine to the VPN end-point, not just selected packets (like with SSH tunneling).

This can cause extremely poor performance for some roaming users. For instance, someone in Sydney with a home office in New York trying to get to a Sydney web server suddenly has to make two round trips to New York, just to cross town. Considering trans-pacific fiber congestion and other problems, this can make the VPN nearly unusable.

Of course, you could tell the user to turn off the VPN, but you try to explain to a typical end user when he should and should not have the VPN turned on, or that he cannot send mail while browsing the web, or things like that.


So, does anyone know of a VPN that does selective forwarding like SSH tunneling?


>Owen

TTFN,
patrick



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