Nokia introduces VPN gateways for mobile staff

Nokia has bolstered its mobile enterprise strategy with the introduction of a family of virtual private network devices to...

Nokia has bolstered its mobile enterprise strategy with the introduction of a family of virtual private network devices to support mobile workers.

The company has launched four VPN gateway appliances to cater for SMEs as well as large businesses, and an IP VPN client for mobile devices.

Application areas include branch and remote office connectivity via an IP VPN.

The mobile client, designed for mobile devices running the Symbian operating system, is supported by Nokia's Meta-Hop technology. It is designed to help ensure seamless user connectivity from the mobile device all the way to the application, even if a connection is disrupted.

Unlike some products, which are licensed by the number of users, Nokia plans to charge per gateway to offer users a way to control licensing costs.

The Meta-Hop technology can provide mobile workers with a secure connection to IP-based applications. Nokia devices support self-learning and self-healing networks that track multiple connection paths to ensure a connection is maintained, the company said.

"With Nokia mobile VPN, users are no longer restricted to where and how they securely connect to the important information they need," said Elie Habib, Nokia enterprise solutions senior vice-president, security and mobile connectivity.

The self-learning aspect can be used by the VPN to discover when a new subnet is installed on the network. The devices also offer IP clustering.

Bob Brace, vice-president of mobile solutions at Nokia, said, "We can cluster multiple devices together to deliver scalability and reliability."

Charles Kolodgy, an analyst at IDC, said, "Remote access to enterprise data is not limited to desktops and laptops anymore. Nokia's product is designed to ensure secure remote access to enterprise resources, no matter what device is being used to connect."

The four VPN gateway products are the Nokia 100i for medium-sized to large firms, the Nokia 50i for branch offices, and the 10i and 5i platforms for smaller operations.

Nokia is also providing VPN Manager, a graphical tool for creating and updating configurations and policies for gateways and clients.

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