I am posting late to this discussion, but I wanted to point out an article
that I saw in the March 13 edition of Network World, titled "Ford testing a
'private Internet' to link suppliers". This article described a high speed
(4Mbps SMDS) IP net managed by Ameritech Corp., linking Ford and some of
its suppliers. This net is intended to replace existing EDI-based Value
Added Networks. One current vendor of EDI-based VANs mentioned in the
article is GE Information Services.
One phrase used to describe this network was "virtual private network",
which coincidentally is the same phrase used by several current firewall
vendors to describe the kind of networks created using their products with
end-to-end encryption. It appears that one feature that distinguishes this
private network from the end-to-end encryption products is that it doesn't
depend on the performance problems of public Internet providers.
The most interesting part of this article was that the only mention of
network security was a reference to the fact that since this private used
static routing and was therefore more secure than the public Internet. In
particular, no mention was made about any kind of security or firewalls
needed or wanted between companies on this private network. Of course,
since the details of this setup were filtered through whoever wrote the
article, there is no telling if what if any security considerations went to
the network design.
If anyone on the list has more insight into this I would like to hear it.
Michael Figg Pencom Software
com 9050 Capital of Texas Hwy North
(512)343-6666 Austin, Texas 78759