Cisco and Microsoft demo network security interoperability

Cisco Systems and Microsoft have demonstrated the Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) and Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP).

The companies have also published a roadmap on Cisco NAC and Microsoft NAP interoperability and announced a limited beta program due to start later this year.

Although the two products do essentially the same job in safeguarding networks, the companies agreed to make their security solutions interoperable after many larger corporations complained that a turf war between Cisco and Microsoft would either force them to choose a single solution or compromise their security.

A white paper published by the two companies offers a description of the architecture and goes into details on how to integrate the embedded security capabilities of Cisco’s network infrastructure with the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista and the new version Windows Server, code-named ‘Longhorn’.

The bad news is that IT managers will not be able to deploy the solution until after Longhorn ships in the second half of next year. Computers running Windows Vista or Windows Server ‘Longhorn’ will include the Microsoft NAP Agent component as part of the core operating system, which will be used to support both Cisco NAC and Microsoft NAP.

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