Red Creek Aims To Automate VPN Management

Red Creek Communications Inc. is introducing management software upgrades that make it easier to set up large enterprise VPNs and to make policy changes once the VPNs are up and running.

The latest version of its management software, ReD iAdmin 2.0, automates the distribution of policies to Red Creek’s Ravlin firewall/VPN appliances, making it possible to set up and reconfigure 1,000 devices from a central workstation.

This is a time saver compared with Red Creek’s former Node Manager software, according to a Red Creek user who asked not to be named. It is possible to change policies for 10 Ravlin devices in the time it would have taken to do the same for one device using Node Manager, he says. The user’s network has 40 Ravlin devices for a corporate VPN as well as connections with business partners.

Streamlining and automating policy distribution is a trend among VPN vendors including Check Point Software, WatchGuard Technologies and NetScreen.

New to Red Creek’s ReD iAdmin 2.0 is ReD iClick, which lets your network administrators set firewall and VPN policies for remote Ravlin devices using a graphical user interface. These policies are then translated into instructions for each remote machine. The policies are automatically stored in a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol database for use later.

These policy instructions are then sent by ReD iSync, software that sits on the central management server. If remote devices are connected to the VPN, ReD iSync will push the policy changes to them. If not, ReD iSync pushes the changes the next time the remote machine connects. ReD iSync also notifies each Ravlin device of changes in IP address by other Ravlins in the network.

Another addition to ReD iAdmin 2.0 is ReD iCom, software for each Ravlin that stores configuration profiles. So if a user moves from site to site with the same Ravlin machine, the machine will configure itself based on the new connection. One Ravlin could store the profile for connecting to the VPN via PPP or via PPP over Ethernet, depending on the type of Internet connection being used.

ReD iCom is also used by Red Creek’s latest device, Travlin Ravlin, to enable it to fail over from a dedicated DSL or cable-modem connection to a dial-up connection.

ReD iAdmin 2.0 is available Oct. 15. It costs US$6,000 for 100 devices; US$15,000 for 500 devices; and US$29,000 for 2,000 devices.

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