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F5 Fires Up Powerful SSL VPN Solution

APPTECH, A SOLUTION PROVIDER BASED IN TACOMA, WASH., HAS SPECIALIZED IN NETWORK AND SOFTWARE SERVICES SINCE 1988. APPTECH IS A MICROSOFT CERTIFIED PARTNER AND A SYMANTEC ENTERPRISE SOLUTION PROVIDER. THIS PRODUCT WAS TESTED AND REVIEWED BY APPTECH CEO DARREL BOWMAN; DEBI BLOCK, CERTIFIED IN SECURITY+ AND NSA; AND JOHN GREER, CCNA, CCAI.

The FirePass 4100 appliance from F5 Networks is an impressive and powerful SSL VPN solution. It supports clustering environments up to 10 nodes, allowing up to 20,000 concurrent users—1,000 concurrent users per node—and secure Web-based remote access to corporate applications and desktops.

The FirePass 4100 includes four 10/100/1000 copper Ethernet ports and three PCI slots for optional SSL acceleration as well as an 80-Gbyte hard drive. It's Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-compliant, an important selling point for solution providers serving the health-care, government and military verticals.

The FirePass 4100 is an enterprise-class appliance engineered to provide remote access as well as create SSL VPNs with greater ease and manageability than any products previously available. The controller is compatible with any operating system supporting SSL and can perform load-balancing for all connected machines. The appliance supports secure access from PDAs, cell phones, WAP and iMode phones connected to e-mail and other applications.

To evaluate the appliance, we used a test network running Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and using Cisco and AdTran access routers and switches at Clover Park Technical College, Lakewood, Wash. The routers were delivering to network hosts running Windows 2000 Professional.

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