Increased corporate investment in new virtual private networking technologies indicates that companies now recognize the Internet as a business-class network, according to a survey by Forrester Research.

Forrester says deployment of state-of-the-art VPN technology has increased by as much as 80 per cent during the past year. VPNs eliminate the need for dedicated connections to corporate systems by carving out private space across a shared network such as the Internet. Most of the 735 decision makers surveyed were replacing their existing VPNs.

The survey findings mean that companies are preparing to support emerging applications, such as voice over IP that require converged voice and data networks, to enable employees to become more mobile. “We’re at a tipping point in terms of people upgrading connectivity,” says Robert Whiteley, an analyst at Forrester.

The survey showed a spike in adoption rates of two VPN technologies: multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and remote access SSL. MPLS enables companies to manage network traffic according to priority and is popular for converged networks carry

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