Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPN is a software/hardware combination service in which a hardware device, the VPN concentrator, and a client software application work together to create an encrypted, secure tunnel between the PC/laptop where the VPN client software is installed, and the VPN concentrator device. This secure, encrypted tunnel is then implicitly trusted by VMI Network Services and is allowed to bypass VMI network security, including the VMI network firewall.
VPN does not provide dial-up or network access. Users must have their own ISP to use the VPN solution, or use a VMI mobile PC that has been configured to use the VMI earthlink account(s).
Once connected via VPN, users can access network drives such as departmental (O:\ drive), personal directory (M:\ drive), and the public directory (P:\ drive). Users can also access VMI email via the Outlook client or any other supported client. Users can access Datatel, but the client software must be installed on your laptop computer. Users can access FTP and web servers that have not been designated for public use, and can perform remote system administration for use in managing a few PC’s or labs.
The client software uses encryption and compression algorithms to produce a secure tunnel that is also slightly faster than standard dial-up, though most users will not see a speed gain. What most users will see is a secure way to interact with the VMI network while away from the office, and the increased functionality of being able to map network drives as if they were in the office.
VPN does not automatically allow remote control of your office desktop, though if you wish to do so, your remote control software (such as PC Anywhere, VNC, Microsoft NetMeeting, Microsoft Remote desktop protocol, etc) will function once the VPN client has been started and the tunnel has been established.
VPN access is available for all users with a valid VMI Active Directory account. All that you are required to do is to follow the installation instructions and you will be able to remotely access internal VMI resources. If you have any problems with installing or using the VMI VPN client, please contact the VMI Help Desk.
It is suggested that all departments with mobile computers and individuals who travel frequently schedule to have their laptops configured to use the VPN solution to ensure data integrity.