Unisys and Nortel develop VPN services

Unisys Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. said Tuesday that they have developed a VPN (virtual private network) offering called Secure VPN, targeted at financial institutions, governments and businesses that want to conduct secure business over the Internet.

VPN is a method of using the Internet to communicate with servers as if the user were on the corporate LAN. The secure connections VPN offers are used to allow for remote work, telecommuting and linking branch offices to each other.

Secure VPN will combine Nortel’s line of Contivity VPN switches with Unisys’ consulting services business. Contivity switches provide the standard array of VPN features, including IPSec security, LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), digital certificate support, firewall and network address translation (NAT) security and more. The Contivity client supports Windows 95, 98, 2000 and NT 4.0 or higher.

An organization that wants to set up a VPN through the Unisys-Nortel partnership should contact Unisys, said Andy Galt, managing director for alliances at Unisys. Unisys will then evaluate the customer’s needs and work with them to build the right system. Along with VPN, Unisys can provide technical support, project management, consulting and security monitoring, Galt said.

Unisys has already installed the system in its own offices and a number of other companies are considering adopting it, Galt said. Along with Nortel, Unisys is also working with Entrust Technologies Inc., IPass Inc. and Internet Security Systems Inc. for additional security features and offerings.

The service, which is available immediately worldwide, varies in price depending on the customer’s needs, but can run anywhere from US$50,000 to hundreds of thousands to millions, Galt said.

Unisys, in Blue Bell, Penn., can be reached at http://www.unisys.com/. Nortel, in Brampton, Ont., can be reached at http://www.nortelnetworks.com/.