Cisco has long history with VPNs

In 1999, Network World tested a dozen VPNs, with a product from Altiga Networks coming in tied for second place. Our main complaint was the lack of split-tunneling capability, a feature that was quickly added.

In 2000: acquired Compatible Systems and . The Compatible product, which became the Cisco VPN 500 Series concentrator, was in 2002.

But the VPN 3000 Series from Altiga, was an unqualified success. It was easy for end-users to work with, supported and Macintosh platforms, and was powerful enough to serve most enterprise remote access needs. With a range of products from low to high-end, the VPN 3000 series became the standard for enterprise remote access.

Of the 12 remote-access products we tested in 1999, only two remain on the market: Check Point and Cisco. When we re-tested VPN client software in 2003, Cisco again came out on-top of a field of 10 players.

Cisco's domination of the VPN market was so complete that competitors were forced to create a whole new category, SSL VPN, to even think about going up against the VPN 3000 series. The SSL VPN attack has broadened the market for enterprise network managers slightly, with Juniper, F5, and SonicWall as credible alternatives.