Cisco Systems Inc has announced a suite of remote access client software, which marks the company’s entrance into the desktop software market. Most of the suite, dubbed CiscoRemote, is sourced from other companies, primarily for time to market reasons, says product manager Charles Breed. It is intended to give personal computer users high-speed remote access to enterprise networks and the Internet. For dial-up access, the company is using Network TeleSystems Inc’s virtual device driver TCP/IP stack, which includes the SLIP Serial Line Internet Protocol and the PPP Point-to-Point Protocol. CiscoRemote also includes Novell’s NetWare IPX/SPX client software and, when this is used with TCP/IP, SLIP and PPP, Cisco claims performance of 115Kbps. The Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol, and the Password Authentication Protocol are also included. CiscoRemote also contains Netscape Communications Corp’s Internet browser and, for peer-to-peer communications, Farallon Computing Inc’s Timbuktu Pro remote control application. AirSoft Inc’s Powerburst remote node accelerator software, said to increase remote computing performance by up to six times through a set of algorithms that reduce unnecessary wide area network traffic, is also included. Finally, the company has incorporated electronic mail and File Transfer Protocol client and server applications, although it is unclear where these are sourced from. The only part Cisco has contributed is technologies from its Internetwork Operating System extensions, such as security call back and address resolution. Aside from time to market, Breed says Cisco bought in so much technology as we don’t want to get into the electronic mail and browser business. CiscoRemote is shipping next month, and it is priced at from $200 for a single user.
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