In this month's Reality Check, author Robert
Hashemian has a go at laptops. While many will certainly agree with his point of view,
there are many who will point out that they depend on their portable PCs when traveling,
especially in the case of remote access. Road warriors often find themselves in need of
information that needs to be accessed from the network back at the home office.
Put simply, remote access is the ability to get access to a computer or a network from
a remote location. The most popular method of getting this access is via PSTN lines or
ISDN. Recently, cable modems, wireless connectivity, and DSL technologies are becoming
more abundant as methods of accessing remote data.
The remote access products and services covered in the following pages will give you an
idea of what type of solutions your business can utilize to implement or enhance an
existing remote access scenario. You will find a variety of hardware solutions such as
gateways, branch office extenders, CompactPCI cards, modems, and routers. Software suites
include NT-based accelerator products, virtual private network (VPN) software, remote
control applications, and more.
I'd also like to point out the sidebar, Choosing The Proper
Remote Access Equipment, by Bob Fine that appears in this section. As the title
implies, Bob's article discusses some of the important issues associated with purchasing
and deploying a remote access solution.
As always, this product roundup should serve as a starting point as you research a
particular solution to meet your company's needs. Do your homework. Check out the vendors'
Web sites or better yet, contact them directly. Get as much information as you can, and
then proceed to compare systems side by side. Armed with a wealth of information, you will
be more likely to purchase a solution that's right for you.
-- Greg Galitzine
Apex PC Solutions, Inc.
20031 142nd Ave. NE
Woodinville, WA 98072
Apex recently updated its Emerge remote server management solution product with an
enhanced user interface and performance upgrades. The hardware product can be configured
as an in-band or out-of-band device, and can connect to a single server, or can be used
with Apex's console switches. The device comes with Windows NT 4.0, with a network
connection of 10/100 Ethernet PCI. The free software upgrade offers hot-key functionality,
and toolbars for user-defined pixel adjustments and frame rate changes.
Emerge is multi-platform capable, and offers network or modem connectivity with an
intuitive GUI. It offers virtually unlimited distance access, and comes bundled with a
keyboard, mouse, power chord, a high-resolution interconnecting cable, and remote
connection software. For more information, visit Apex's Web site at www.apexpc.com.
TurboGold Server-to-Server Accelerator
Stampede Technologies, Inc.
65 Rhoads Center Dr.
Dayton, OH 45458
The TurboGold server-to-server accelerator software, for use with Lotus Notes, is an
addition to Stampede's TurboGold Client/Server product. The new software compresses and
streams data between Domino servers to accelerate the replication of Lotus Notes
databases. The software is installed on a Domino server as an add-in task, for simple
setup and installation.
TurboGold supports servers running Windows NT, and must be installed on all the Domino
servers involved in replication. Quicker replication will occur for servers connected
through a WAN, and multiple replications can occur simultaneously, initiated by either
local or remote servers. The server-to-server software can be used independently, or in
conjunction with Stampede's client-to-server software. For additional information, visit
Stampede's Web site at www.stampede.com.
Network Exchange 2210
13595 Dulles Technology Dr.
Herndon, VA 20171
NETRIX offers the Network Exchange 2201 voice and data-over-IP and frame relay gateway,
geared toward small enterprise offices using applications that require up to four voice
ports, and toward Internet telephony service providers who need to provide lower density
CPE equipment. Designed for the remote office/branch office (ROBO) environment, the
Network Exchange 2201 can network with more than 4000 other Network Exchange gateways with
configurations of four to several thousand analog ports.
Voice and data support are provided through a number of features, including high
quality compressed voice, real-time fax, IP-to-frame relay gateway connections, legacy
protocol support, and IP routing. Traffic quality is maintained by the
"end-point-aware" traffic shaping solution from NETRIX, as well as sophisticated
call flow mechanisms. The company's Vodex gateway software can support up to seven classes
of service to aid traffic flow. For more information, visit the NETRIX Web site at www.netrix.com.
Branch Office EXTender 6000
MCK Communications, Inc.
313 Washington St., 2nd Fl.
Newton, MA 02158
MCK's Branch Office EXTender 6000 is geared toward remote sites with less than 24
employees for extending all corporate PBX capabilities through various data networks. The
company's patent-pending Remote Voice Protocol packetizes voice and signaling information
for transmission over a T1, fractional T1, ATM, frame relay, XDSL, digital data service,
ISDN, or IP network connection. The EXTender can support up to eight remote employees
through a single ISDN BRI line, or 2 DS0s, using industry-standard compression to minimize
The EXTender allows branch employees to use the same digital phones with the same
functionality as the main office, including conference calling, auto attendant, operator
backup, and unified messaging. Configurable as a rackmount or desktop unit, the EXTender
uses a third-party termination device to perform in various network environments. It also
gives users a choice of voice compression algorithms like the G.729A and G.726. For
additional information, visit MCK's Web site at www.mck.com.
Perle 833AS/833IS Remote Access Switches
Perle Systems Inc.
630 Oakmont Ln.
Westmont, IL 60559-5548
Perle Systems offers two remote access switches aimed at remote enterprise users for
high scalability and access option flexibility. The 833AS will support as many as 92
concurrent users through ISDN, and 90 users through 56Kbps, V.90 analog modems. Modem
cards for 12 or 18 modem densities are available for use in five modem slots, and version
1.5 of the 833AS allows network administrators to combine single and dual T1/PRI and
Perle's DSP modem feature cards within the same chassis.
The 833IS is targeted at smaller remote setups, with scalability for eight to 80
dial-in users depending on connection speed. Eight to 16 users can connect using four to
eight BRI connections, and additional users can dial-in through ISDN, or V.90 or V.34
analog DSP modems. The 833IS is also the first remote access switch of its class that
delivers an auto-sensing 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connection as the standard, which allows
network administrators to connect at 10 Mbps or scale seamlessly to 100 Mbps. For
additional information on either switch, visit Perle's Web site at www.perle.com.
Remote LAN Node (RLN)
3617 131st Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
The RLN solution from Attachmate allows remote users to access network applications
through modems, switched 56 Kbps, cellular, ISDN, and X.25 connections. The solution is
made up of a remote client, and the RLN access server, available as a preinstalled,
combined hardware/software option for a Pentium-based PC. The server allows system
administrators to simultaneously connect up to 64 remote RLN clients, and to quickly
configure Token Ring and Ethernet networks for remote connections.
The solution also includes an RLN application server powered by WinFrame from Citrix
Systems, Inc. The server software program enhances data applications for remote users of
DOS, and Windows 3.1 and 95 by processing applications locally through the LAN - sending
only keyboard, screen, and mouse commands to the remote user. The RLN solution works with
all popular network environments and protocols. For additional information, visit
Attachmate's Web site at www.attachmate.com.
RS2000C cPCI Card
2540 Route 130
Cranbury, NJ 08512
Ariel is developing a new family of remote access products utilizing the CompactPCI
architecture. The first product offering, the RS2000C, combines 60 ports of 56K/ISDN
access with a dual T1/E1/PRI interface on one rackmountable CompactPCI card. The card
allows Windows NT and Unix servers the connections needed for remote dial-in and LAN
dial-out. The card can combine 30 56Kbps, V.90 modems from Lucent Technologies for up to
60 simultaneous remote access sessions originating from analog 56 Kbps and 33.6 Kbps, and
64 Kbps basic rate ISDN customer premises equipment (CPE).
The RS2000C offers one remote access number for simplified installation and
administration, and will automatically detect the type of equipment initiating the call,
and route it to the proper modem or HDLC controller. The card is a highly scalable remote
access solution, and a standard chassis with 10 cards can support as many as 20 T1/E1/PRI
lines, for 600 simultaneous remote access sessions. For more information, visit Ariel's
Web site at www.ariel.com.
Elite Workgroup Solution
6120 Windward Pkwy., Ste. 100
Alpharetta, GA 30005
Small and medium-sized businesses and workgroups that need plug-and-play broadband
connectivity can benefit from Elastic Networks' Workgroup Solution. Made up of Elastic's
Elite modem and the Cayman 2E 500 dual Ethernet router from Cayman Systems (of which
Elastic is a wholly-owned subsidiary), the solution enables high-speed Internet
connectivity for LANs.
The router interfaces directly with the modem for individual computer connection speeds
of up to 4 Mbps. The Elite modem is based on Elastic's EtherLoop technology, which runs
Ethernet over twisted pair cables and allows simultaneous voice and data activity at up to
native rate Ethernet speeds - over a single phone line, without interfering with other
services. The router uses TCP/IP routing along with Swift-IP Internet addressing
technology from Cayman, which supports DHCP, DNS, and network address translation (NAT)
for assigning, configuring, and managing IP addresses. For additional information, visit
Elastic's Web site at www.elastic.com.
350 Legget Dr.
P.O. Box 13089
Kanata, ON K2K 1X3
The NeVaDa enterprise voiceLAN networking solution allows companies to merge voice and
data infrastructures for simplifying network operations and deploying multimedia
applications throughout the enterprise. Based on standards and an open architecture, the
NeVaDa supports an interface between voice networks and LAN topologies. Mitel's SX-2000
LIGHT platform provides call control for an intelligent LAN switching hub, on which the
The NeVaDa includes an ATM module, which has the capacity to carry multiple media
traffic through the enterprise over one 155 Mbps fiber backbone. The setup creates a
single integrated voice and data infrastructure for delivering increased bandwidth and
improved capabilities to the desktop. And the product's converged infrastructure requires
only one set of cabling between floors, buildings, or across town. For more information,
visit Mitel's Web site at www.mitel.com.
Information Resource Engineering, Inc. (IRE)
8029 Corporate Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21236
The SafeNet/Soft-PK software provides VPN capabilities for desktop and laptop computers
running Windows 95/98/NT 4.0. The software allows secure client-to-client and
client-to-gateway communication through TCP/IP networks and the Internet using
industry-standard IPSec recommendations. A comprehensive GUI allows network administrators
to define global and individual security associations, and the software offers full
support of tunnel mode and transport mode security.
SafeNet offers confidentiality through encryption; packet integrity and authentication
through keyed hash; identity authentication through digital signatures and X.509
certificates exchanged during key negotiation; and many other security features. It is
compatible with Windows communications devices like modems, LAN adapters, and PC cards, as
well as most Windows applications. Additionally, SafeNet can interoperate with IPSec
devices from major manufacturers including firewalls, gateway encryptors, and VPN routers.
For additional information, visit IRE's Web site at www.ire.com.
44-54 Church St., Ste. B
Belmont, MA 02478
(408) 558-9700, x227
Calista offers three products that allow remote workers to use a digital phone over the
Internet, a private IP network, or the PSTN. Users can experience PBX-quality sound and
full digital phone functionality over an IP network with Calista's PBXoverIP products,
through an Ethernet connection that works with DSL, ISDN, or cable modems. The three
products are compatible with digital phones from Ericsson, IWATSU, Lucent, Mitel, NEC,
Nortel, and Siemens.
The first offering, PBXoverIP Solo, is geared toward the lone telecommuter with a home
office network connection. To utilize an IP-based network to carry voice traffic, remote
users are connected to the company's intranet or to an ISP. Remote users may also use ISDN
or DSL-based equipment to connect to the company telephone network. PBXoverIP Solo M adds
connectivity for users who can not access the corporate intranet through an internal 28.8
Kbps modem for dial-up access to an ISP or corporate remote server. The PBXoverIP
Workgroup is geared toward small branch offices. Connectivity is made through a 24-port,
19" rack-mountable solution. For more information, visit Calista's Web site at www.calista.com.
1000 Series Universal Access
Mapletree Networks, Inc.
30 Perwal St.
Westwood, MA 02090
Mapletree Networks' family of access modules, the 1000 Series Universal Access, offers
24 universal ports per module, for use with network access systems. Each universal port
can process digital or analog data in voice, fax, or modem formats, and modules are built
to easily integrate with any network access host system that requires multiple voice,
data, and fax ports.
The 1000 Series utilizes Mapletree's unique UniPorte architecture, designed for OEMs to
be used as a sub-component to their overall solution. UniPorte offers virtually any access
application on any port, and integrates emerging applications without changing existing
hardware. Series modules are built using RISC and DSP processors, as well as proprietary
Mapletree ASICs and software. The Standard In-line Memory Module package offers a custom
host interface, while the custom Plug-In Module package has a PCI host interface. For
additional information, visit the Mapletree Networks Web site at www.mapletreenetworks.com.
ShelCad Communications, Ltd.
9 Hatahsia St., P.O.Box 403,
Tel-Hanan 20302, Israel
The Hi-Phone PCMCIA from ShelCad Communications (formerly ShelCad Engineering) is the
newest member of the Hi-Phone family. Aimed at telecommuters and business travelers, the
PCMCIA adapter connects any analog telephone with a laptop computer to allow users to send
and receive voice and data through the Internet or a LAN/WAN. It features on-board SLIC,
voice processing, a ringer, DTMF signals, and ActiveX, Wave, and TAPI lower level software
ShelCad has developed software to integrate Microsoft NetMeeting and ICQ, the
chat/messenging application from AOL, so users may dial an ICQ number to place an actual
voice call. The PCMCIA also works with other popular Internet telephony software packages.
The Hi-Phone and Hi-Phone Jr. bridge PCs to any analog phone for support of PC-to-PC,
phone-to-phone, phone-to-PC, PC-to-phone, PC-to-remote call center agent, and remote call
center agent-to-PC voice and data communications. For more information, visit ShelCad's
Web site at www.shelcad.com.
10201 Torre Ave.
Cupertino, CA 95014-2132
The latest version of Symantec's pcANYWHERE allows remote users to share data and
applications to and from a network or office computer no matter where they are. The
software enables remote control of an office PC through the Internet, as well as efficient
synchronization of files between two computers. It works with Windows 95/98/NT, on a 486sx
25 MHz processor or faster, with 4 MB of RAM and 16 MB of free hard drive space required.
pcANYWHERE features wizards for easy and quick navigation, and button bars allow users
to customize the interface to fit their specific needs. Transferring files is as simple as
dragging and dropping from one drive to another, and an online help menu is available for
troubleshooting. The software is also helpful for making changes directly on another
user's screen, and for deploying preconfigured software updates and training materials to
multiple users. It also allows an administrator to manage LANs, WANs, and enterprisewide
information systems through one consistent interface. For more information, visit
Symantec's Web site at www.symantec.com.
9420-D Lurline Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
The ChatPowerPlus is part of ChatCom's flagship Corporate Series, and is available as a
component subsystem for installation in an existing cabinet. It provides regulated,
reliable power for the company's server modules, which make up the basis of the ChatterBox
system for supporting multiple network applications. ChatPower Plus includes power supply
modules, cooling devices, and peripherals within a scalable architecture for easy addition
of more power modules.
The ChatterBox server modules make an ideal platform for Internet servers, file and
database servers, remote access gateways and hosts, and decision support applications like
Lotus Notes and Microsoft Mail. Open architecture within the entire solution allows users
to customize the system with off-the-shelf applications and hardware add-ons. And the
ChatPower Plus delivers an efficient power system in the highest density possible. For
additional information, visit ChatCom's Web site at www.jlchatcom.com.
1600 Series Routers
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA 95134
The 1600 series routers from Cisco are geared toward small offices with Ethernet LANs
that need connectivity to the Internet and company Intranets. The routers utilize WAN
technologies including ISDN, asynchronous serial, and synchronous connections like leased
lines, frame relay, X.25, Switched 56, and Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS). The
four models in the series have Ethernet ports, built-in WAN ports, and each has a slot for
an optional second WAN port.
The series offers advanced security features such as router/route authentication,
firewall, generic routing encapsulation (GRE), lock and key, virtual private network (VPN)
tunneling, and 40- and 56-bit encryption. The routers also offer Cisco Internetwork
Operating System (Cisco IOS) features like Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ), IP Multicast,
Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP), and AppleTalk Simple Multicast Routing Protocol. And
Network Address Translation (NAT) enables a privately addressed network to access public
registered networks without a registered subnet address - eliminating the need for host
renumbering, and allowing the same IP address range for use in multiple intranets. For
additional information, visit Cisco's Web site at www.cisco.com.
Mobility Server 2
7001 Development Dr.
P.O. Box 13969
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Ericsson's Mobility Server 2.0 is a PC/server-based Windows NT telephone switch for
cordless phones. The server supports wireless infrastructures and a variety of wireless
standards so users can benefit from terminal mobility no matter which type of PBX they
have. Other features include personal number support so users can be contacted at a single
number, regardless of their location; the ability to access and edit personal settings
remotely, through a browser; and increased mobility through support of multi-site
configurations. Mobility Server 2.0 also supports unified messaging, and enables access to
network management functions through a Web browser.
The server has an open interface and supports different radio access technologies for
various geographical markets like the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony (DECT), D-AMPS,
and Personal Wireless Telecommunication (PWT). A single system will support up to 600
cordless users, and multiple systems are easily networked. Remote users may also access
their personal numbers through a Web browser, and all systems and network management
functions may be accessed this way as well. For more information, visit Ericsson's Web
site at www.ericsson.com.
22121-20th Ave. SE
Bothell, WA 98021-4408
OfficeLink 2000 allows a PC to become the single focus for remote workers' information
access and control by integrating a digital phone set into the Windows desktop. This
integration allows users access to features such as call transfer, conference calls, speed
dial, DNIS and ANI, supervisor notification, and visual message waiting. All incoming and
outgoing calls are placed through the central digital phone system, so that call reporting
and information are the same for remote and central office workers, and supervisors can
track remote users' PBX and ACD statistics.
The server is a Windows NT Server 4.0 system that communicates between an ACD/PBX and
the existing LAN through software and plug-in cards that emulate a proprietary, digital
phone set. A single server can be scaled for eight to 48 users, and multiple servers may
be chained. OfficeLink's agent desktop software runs on the remote user's PC through
Windows 3.11, 95, or NT 4.0, and communicates with the server through a direct network
connection or via dial-up. The audio connection runs through a headset or standard
telephone connected to a PSTN line. For more information, visit Teltone's Web site at www.teltone.com.
Meridian Technology Corporation
11 McBride Corporate Center Dr., Ste. 250
Chesterfield, MO 63005
The Waymark server and management software package from Meridian is packaged within a
PC system, and includes a Network Interface Card (NIC), and comes pre-installed with
serial or modem cards. The server allows remote access to the LAN through native
protocols, and users may dial out through any NACS-compliant application, through any set
of ports on the Waymark.
All users connected to the LAN through Waymark may send faxes using Meridian-supplied
modems, or any compatible class II fax modem. The Waymark provides connectivity through
internal analog modems, which come eight per card, or serial interface cards, which
support external modems provided by the customer. Other features include a flexible
database with an intuitive GUI for maintaining user lists, viewing statistical and
accounting data, maintaining security, creating reports, and configuring multiple servers.
For more information, visit Meridian's Web site at www.meridian.com.
FlowPoint 2200 SDSL Router
180 Knowles Dr., Ste. 100
Los Gatos, CA 95030
The versatile 2200 SDSL router from FlowPoint is designed for remote and telecommuting
office use, as well as single-building and campus-area networks. With a built-in Ethernet
hub and SDSL interface, the 2200 router allows high-speed symmetrical connections to the
Internet and the corporate network at up to 1.1 Mbps. The hub may be configured for a
four-user or unlimited-user LAN, and can also support up to eight virtual circuits, which
may be configured independently of each other.
The router also offers security and VPN configurations through PAP/CHAP and user
authentication with PPP, as well as password control for the GUI-based configuration
manager. Other features include L2TP tunneling with DES encryption, and Telnet/SNMP port
management and control features. The router also features a Motorola MPC860 processor at
25 MHz, 1 MB of flash memory, and 1 MB of DRAM. For more information, visit FlowPoint's
Web site at www.flowpoint.com.
Multiservice T1 Integrator
42709 Lawrence Pl.
Fremont, CA 94538
This hardware platform solution from VINA allows businesses to combine voice and data
onto a single T1 line. The Multiservice T1 Integrator performs the functions of a
fractional T1 multiplexer, multiprotocol router, voice switch, firewall, DSU/CSU, and
channel bank, eliminating redundant equipment and phone lines, and improving data speed.
Other features include dynamically-assigned IP addresses, remote management through HTTP,
SNMP, and Telnet, and IPSec-based VPN capability.
The T1 Integrator comes with the Business OfficeXchange (BOX), which allows it to
function as a phone system with a full suite of software service applications. Functions
include integrated voice switching, key system functionality, and migration to voice mail,
auto attendant, and other CTI and TAPI-based applications. The Integrator's channel bank
function allows a digital T1 line to be segmented into 24 individual analog circuits, and
high-speed Internet access channels of 64 Kbps to 1.544 Mbps may also be allocated. For
additional information, visit VINA's Web site at www.vina-tech.com.
TRU RADIUS Accountant
Telco Research Corporation
616 Marriott Dr.
Nashville, TN 37214
The TRU RADIUS Accountant from Telco Research enables businesses to track and
chargeback network usage of remote workers who access remote servers. The product works
with servers, routers, and firewalls that comply with the remote authentication dial-in
user service (RADIUS) standard for remote dial-in authentication. It records the time
remote users have spent on the network and provides summary reports of all usage, so that
costs may be allocated on a per minute or per call basis to users or groups.
Reports are generated in HTML or rich text format and OLE-embedded into Microsoft
Office applications, where additional charges may be assigned for each account. Dedicated
or switched Internet access is recommended for TRU RADIUS support and upgrades, and the
system must be running Windows NT 4.0 with service pack 3. A Pentium server running at a
minimum of 200 MHz with at least 64 MB of RAM is also required, as well as a CD ROM drive,
a network interface card, and Internet Explorer 4.0. For more information, visit Telco
Research's Web site at www.telcores.com.
5 Industrial Way
Salem, New Hampshire 03079
The carrier-class RAServer 2900 remote access server from RAScom is targeted for
mid-to-large ISPs and large enterprise networks requiring high levels of availability,
scalability, and redundancy. This high-density server can provide connectivity to analog
and digital remote users, and is based on the Windows interface for easy management
through existing LAN server tools. It can also be upgraded to support new applications.
The 2900 uses MPPC compression for throughput of up to 8:1 on Windows-to-Windows
connections, and also supports point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) to encrypt traffic
for secure Internet transmission. It supports as many as 30 PRI/T1/E1 spans or 690 ISDN
users, and up to eight units may be mounted in a standard 19" rack, with support for
up to 1,920 digital modems or 7,200 ISDN users. The unit comes with redundant,
hot-swappable components, as well as a real-time fault identification maintenance
subsystem for high-availability environment. It also includes hot-pluggable power
supplies, disk drives, intake and circulation fans, and a segmented backplane
architecture. For more information, visit RAScom's Web site at www.rascom.com.
One Technology Way
P. O. Box 9106
Norwood, MA 02062-9106
Analog's new ADSP-21mod970-510 gateway processor offers dense remote access server
solutions within a compact space utilizing 12 modem ports. The processor offers 960 KB of
on-chip, fully downloadable SRAM, and all voice-over-IP (VoIP) and modem functions may be
implemented without using external memory. The design ensures field upgrades and
infrastructure applications may be added through software.
The processor seamlessly connects users to the Internet, regardless of whether they
connect through a V.90 or V.34 modem, or fax modem. It supports any protocol on any port,
and enables a single-point interface so multiple lines may transmit voice, data, and fax.
Multi-application support allows exchange operators to avoid traffic jams by terminating
data calls before they enter the central office, thereby also reducing operating costs.
For more information, visit Analog's Web site at www.analog.com.
SuperStack II Remote Access System 1500
Santa Clara Site
5400 Bayfront Plaza
Santa Clara, CA 95052
3Com's SuperStack II Remote Access System 1500 is made up of two stackable components
that integrate multi-protocol RAS and WAN router technology with 56 Kbps V.90 or ISDN
modems, offering customers a complete remote access solution. The solution automatically
supports dial-in access for SOHO and mobile users, LAN to LAN connectivoty for
branch-to-headquarters data access, and dial-out services for LAN to ISP/Internet access.
Small and medium size companies can benefit from the SuperStack II Remote Access System
1500's flexible architecture that allows the system to cost effectively grow in
performance and density as the company's business and remote access requirements increase.
For more information, visit 3Com's web site at www.3com.com.