Accelerated Adds VPN Capability to IADs

Integrated-access device maker Accelerated Networks Inc. Tuesday unveiled Internet Companion, hardware that enables Accelerated's customer-premise gear to support IP VPNs.

The hardware, called AN-IC, is an add-on to Accelerated's integrated access devices and comes as either a stand-alone box or a card that fits inside an IAD.

AN-IC includes Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) that supply processing power for a firewall and Triple-DES encryption as part of an IP Security (IPSec) VPN package. The gear also supports public-key infrastructure for exchanging the encryption keys used to secure traffic across VPN connections.

IADs that are upgraded with Internet Companion continue to support voice and data being transported in and out of branch offices over a single wide-area connection.

AN-IC is part of a push by Accelerated called secure multiservice broadband access - Secure MSBA.

The devices are sold to carriers who install them at customer sites to support services. Accelerated says the AN-IC products will enable service providers who already offer voice and data services over a single connection to expand their offerings to include managed firewall and VPN services.

Though built to IPSec standards, the AN-IC boxes initially will interoperate only with one another. Accelerated says that later this year, it will announce interoperability with other equipment makers' gear. The VPN software and firewall are licensed from other vendors, but Accelerated will not announce their names until later this year.

A standalone AN-IC costs $995 and the AN-IC card costs $895. Both are available now.

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