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Network Security and Virtual Private Network Technologies

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press.
  • Date: Oct 1, 2004.

Chapter Description

Network security can be a headache, especially when VPN technology is added to the mix. This chapter from the CCSP Self-Study text will help prepare you to deal with the complex security issues presented by virtual vrivate networks.


The Internet is creating tremendous business opportunities for Cisco and Cisco customers. Internet business solutions such as e-commerce, supply chain management, e-learning, and customer care are dramatically increasing productivity and efficiency.

Cisco AVVID is the one enterprise architecture that provides the intelligent network infrastructure for today's Internet business solutions. As the industry's only enterprise-wide, standards-based network architecture, Cisco AVVID provides the road map for combining customers' business and technology strategies into one cohesive model.

With Cisco AVVID, customers have a comprehensive road map for enabling Internet business solutions and creating a competitive advantage. Cisco AVVID has four benefits:

  • Integration—By leveraging the Cisco AVVID architecture and applying the network intelligence that is inherent in IP, companies can develop comprehensive tools to improve productivity.

  • Intelligence—Traffic prioritization and intelligent networking services maximize network efficiency for optimized application performance.

  • Innovation—Customers can adapt quickly in a changing business environment.

  • Interoperability—Standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs) enable open integration with third-party developers, providing customers with choice and flexibility.

Combining the network infrastructure and services with new-world applications, Cisco AVVID accelerates the integration of technology strategy with business vision.

The following sections discuss the different parts of the Cisco AVVID architecture. They are shown in Figure 1-2.

Figure 2xFigure 1-2 Cisco AVVID Architecture



Clients are the wide variety of devices that can be used to access the Internet business solutions through the network. These can include phones, PCs, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and any other mobile Internet device. One key difference from traditional proprietary architectures is that the Cisco AVVID standards-based solution lets a wide variety of devices be connected—even some not yet in broad use. Unlike traditional telephony and video solutions, proprietary access devices are unnecessary. Instead, functionality is added through the intelligent network services provided in the infrastructure.

Network Platforms

The network infrastructure provides the physical and logical connection for devices, bringing them into the network. Network platforms are the LAN switches, routers, gateways, and other equipment that interconnect users and servers. Cisco network platforms are competitive as far as features, performance, and price, but their key capabilities are the integration and interaction with other elements of the Cisco AVVID framework. This layer of Cisco AVVID is the foundation for all applications that are integrated to solve business problems.

Intelligent Network Services

The intelligent network services, provided through software that operates on network platforms, are a major benefit of an end-to-end architecture for deploying Internet business solutions. From quality of service (QoS) (prioritization) through security, accounting, and management, intelligent network services reflect the enterprise's business rules and policies in network performance. A consistent set of the services end-to-end through the network is vital if the infrastructure is to be relied on as a network utility. These consistent services allow new Internet business applications and e-business initiatives to roll out very quickly without a major reengineering of the network each time. In contrast, networks built on best-of-breed strategies might promise higher performance in a specific device, but they cannot be counted on to deliver these sophisticated features end-to-end in a multivendor environment. Cisco AVVID supports standards to provide for migration and the incorporation of Internet business integrators, but the added intelligent network services offered by an end-to-end Cisco AVVID solution go far beyond what can be achieved in a best-of-breed environment.

Internet Middleware Layer

The next section, including service control and communication services, is a key part of any networking architecture, providing the software and tools to break down the barriers of complexity arising from new technology. These combined layers provide the tools for integrators and customers to tailor their network infrastructure and customize intelligent network services to meet application needs. These layers manage access, call setup and teardown, perimeter security, prioritization and bandwidth allocation, and user privileges. Software, such as distributed customer contact suites, messaging solutions, and multimedia and collaboration provide capabilities and a communication foundation that enable interaction between users and a variety of application platforms. In a best-of-breed strategy, many of these capabilities must be individually configured or managed. In traditional proprietary schemes, vendors dictated these layers, limiting innovation and responsiveness.

Rapid deployment of Internet business solutions depends on consistent service control and communication services capabilities throughout the network. These capabilities are often delivered by Cisco from servers distributed throughout the network. The service control and communication services layers are the glue that joins the Internet technology layers of the Cisco AVVID framework with the Internet business solutions. In effect, this tunes the network infrastructure and intelligent network services to the needs of the Internet business solutions. In turn, the Internet business solutions are adapted for the best performance and availability on the network infrastructure by exploiting the end-to-end services available through the Cisco AVVID framework.

Internet Business Integrators

As part of the open ecosystem, it is imperative to enable partners with Cisco AVVID. Cisco realizes the crucial requirement to team with integrators, strategic partners, and customers to deliver complete Internet business. Cisco AVVID offers a guide for these interactions by describing a consistent set of services and capabilities that form the basis of many types of partner relationships.

Internet Business Solutions

Enterprise customers are deploying Internet business solutions to reengineer their organizations. The applications associated with Internet business solutions are not provided by Cisco, but they are enabled, accelerated, and delivered through Cisco AVVID. Being able to move their traditional business models to Internet business models and to deploy Internet business solutions is key to companies' survival. Cisco AVVID is the architecture on which e-businesses build Internet business solutions that can be easily deployed and managed. Ultimately, the more Internet business solutions that are delivered, the more efficiently and effectively companies will increase productivity and added value.

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