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Sun Offers Web-Top Access to Intranet Apps

Sun Microsystems, Inc. has developed new technology, code named Sun.net Strategy, aimed at information technology (IT) managers and Internet service providers (ISPs), which provides quick, secure access to internal corporate intranet sites and network services from any Internet-connected device.

Separately Sun also announced it acquired i-Planet, a private, software developer of Java-based, enterprise networking solutions for remote access.

The company said Sun.net Strategy, slated for availability during the first quarter of 1999, will employ secure remote access software from i-Planet's, RemotePassage software, which enables encrypted tunneling through the Internet.

Proprietary client software is not necessary to make a secure connection, Sun said, because a Java applet is downloaded on-demand at time of access, allowing any available Internet-connected device to connect securely with the corporate intranet.

Security is deployed through secure socket layer (SSL), RC5 technology and Diffie/Helman encryption. When used with any existing security infrastructure, this encryption provides an extra layer of security.

In addition to allowing employee access, the new software will enable companies to give secure, direct access to customers, partners and suppliers through the corporate intranet, without any additional hardware and networking costs.

The Sun.Net Strategy is also geared to accelerating performance for low speed users by automatically compressing files before downloading over the Internet or by sending files directly from the server.

The software can access files or applications running on Solaris, Windows NT, Novell, IBM AS400/3270 systems and any UNIX-based file system. Since RemotePassage is located in the network transport layer, Sun.Net is able to provide detailed, centralized logs describing every activity of every Internet user, necessary for performing audits, internal chargebacks, or customer billing.

"This new technology will provide a secure, cost effective connection from the public Internet to a user's personalized Web-top, without the costs normally associated with building a virtual private network-it's true, ubiquitous access to corporate IT resources and your virtual enterprise," said Dr. Stuart Wells, senior director of Sun's Network Software products.

"Sun.Net is running internally at Sun as a pilot project and has significantly lowered remote access costs while providing support for a distributed workforce of 8,000 employees."