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Cisco is First Major VPN Vendor to Support Win7/OSX 10.6 Clients

Posted by Shamn on 10/24/2009

Cisco just released support for the Windows 7 operating system in both its IPSEC client and SSLVPN client software. The Cisco Anyconnect 2.4 SSLVPN client now supports both 32bit and 64bit Windows 7 hosts. The new Anyconnect 2.4 client additionally supports MAC OSX 10.6.1 32 and 64bit operating systems as well. Cisco also released a Windows 7 32bit version of its widely deployed Cisco VPN client 5.0.6.

Neither client requires any changes at the head-end VPN concentrator/ASA.

There are also some new features in the Anyconnect 2.4 client.

•Split DNS Fallback – You define domain names that should be tunneled through to the corporate DNS servers for resolution. All other DNS queries will be sent directly to the Internet DNS server configured on the client.

•Trusted Network Detection – Allows you to automatically bring up the vpn tunnel when a client is on a untrusted network. Conversely, when the client connects to a internal corporate trusted network the Anyconnect client will automatically disconnect. You define the trusted networks list.

•Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP) – You can now configure the Anyconnect client to provide automatic cert provisioning if the user fails certificate checking. The client will use SCEP to make this process easy. Or you can show a “Get Certificate” or an “Enroll” button to the user for manual certificate provisioning. Once they click on this button, Anyconnect uses the SCEP protocol to automatically provision a user certificate to them. It also has the ability to present the user with a challenge request for authentication to the CA Authority. Bottom line is this will make it way easier for you to start using certificates as a second factor auth method.

•Prompting Users to Select Authentication Certificate – Before this release the Anyconnect client would auto pick the best certificate. Now you have the option of providing a list of certificates to the end-user that they can choose from.

•Scripting – Very useful feature that allows you to run OnConnect scripts and OnDisconnect scripts on the host. You could run login scripts, drive mapping scripts, whatever you want using this new feature.

•New Proxy Support Enhancements

•PEM File Certificate Store – For MAC and Linux clients the AnyConnect client supports certificate authentication using a Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM) formatted file store. Instead of relying on browsers to verify and sign certificates, the client reads PEM-formatted certificate files from the file system on the remote computer, and verifies and signs them.

•FIPS Compliant Anyconnect Solution

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Scrap XP and Vista!!!!

Posted by Shamn on 10/23/2009

Finally I have some time to blog after feeling physically and emotionally tired. Yesterday, Windows 7 officially launched. I definitely received a lot of messages from family and friends asking about it, I jumped to face book feeling excited what people say about it, and results have been quite amazing.  I can say it was a very high-profile launch of the new OS, never ending Twitter, Face book, people are blogging about the breathless updates of it. It’s really getting a huge amount of good press and drawn quite successful reviews from technology experts, and of course Microsoft should be excited about that.
I currently have an ultimate release candidate version in my PC since I don’t have time to upgrade, I can say that it does share some of the vista’s visuals but NONE of the slowness and frequent system crashes.  I actually leave my PC on 24/7 and it runs smoothly!
Other thing about win7, not only it boots faster than XP, it detected almost all of the hardware.  W7 also sees on my HP laptop about those multifunction documents center with their own unique services, it’s really more natural way of managing peripherals.  

What they say:
New York Times “ The end of 3 year old Vista nightmare” , calls Windows 7 “ The best version of Windows.” A quick and short glance at the new software:

1.) Better than Vista with graphics upgrade, less memory hogging,  reduced security prompts and enhanced compatibility with third party hardware and software.

2.) The taskbar gets a complete makeover, allow you to stick icons for your favorite programs to launch them quickly and much more.

3.) Folders can now be organized into libraries and gives quick access to pictures and files spread out over the entire hard drive.

4.) New applications named Aero Snaps (allows putting two applications side by side for easy comparison and copy-and-paste). Aero Peek (makes open windows temporarily transparent so you can see what’s on your desktop) and Aero Shake (if you shake a window, all the other windows will disappear) are useful and fun to use.

5.) Windows 7 also includes more support for touch. With a capacitive touch screen PC, you can now scroll through lists of files, pinch to zoom web pages and images, and employ flicks and gestures to launch Jump Lists.

6.) Windows media player gets new streaming features enabling sharing music on internet and media center to gets better with additional support for Divx etc reducing the codecs chase.

7.) Networking is another area where significant progress has been made. The new HomeGroup feature makes accessing files on another Windows 7 PC on the home network very easy.

8.) Following a no frill approach, some notable applications like Windows Movie maker, Windows mails, Live photo gallery are strangely missing but are available for download on the Microsoft site.

Verdict from Gizmodo:
Windows XP was a great OS in its day. Windows Vista, once it found its feet several months in, was a good OS. With Windows 7, the OS is great again. It’s what people said they wanted out of Windows: Solid, more nimble and the easiest, prettiest Windows yet. There’s always a chance this won’t be a huge hit come October, given the economy and the state of the PC industry, but it’s exactly what Microsoft needs right now. Something people can grab without fear.

Shuttleworth, Founder of popular Linux distro Ubuntu and chief executive of Canonical called Windows 7 a great operating system. “I’ve kicked the tires on the [Windows 7] beta for a few hours and it was good,” Shuttleworth said. “They’ve put concerted attention on the user experience with the shell. “I think it’s going to be a great product, and every indication is we will see it in the market sooner rather than later.”

Yobie Benjamin,technology writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and frequent Microsoft critic: “In a phrase, Windows 7 is darn good – very good. A huge congratulations to the [development] team in Redmond! Well done! In fact, very well done!” he writes.

Bill Wagner, co-founder of Ann Arbor-based SRT Solutions, said Windows 7 offers improved speed, better networking capabilities, enhanced touch-screen features and improved multi-monitor functioning. “I cannot come up with a single reason why someone would run Vista once Windows 7 is out,” Wagner said. “It is definitely a lot more stable than Vista and a lot more robust and faster on the same or even lower-grade hardware.”

 Overall I can say, it’s really a big improvement over Vista and XP. Looks like 7 is a lucky number after all.

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