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 Friday, 16 September 2005

Underlining the key role that ITU has played in the development of virtual private networks (VPN), the recent meeting of Study Group 13 saw consent of the last in a series of Recommendations on the subject. 

A simple description of a VPN is that it is a private communications network using the resources of a shared network infrastructure.

The Recommendation will help operators to select the most appropriate protocols to use for each element of the VPN services they want to offer. Experts say that as well as allowing best-of-breed protocols to be used for each function so that individual functional components can evolve independently, the Recommendation also supports the reuse of common mechanisms or protocols across different VPN network technologies to reduce cost and complexity. A section of the document provides some examples of different service scenarios and identifies some example mechanisms/protocols that can be used to provide the functions required.

Known as VPN functional decomposition, ITU-T Recommendation Y.1314 describes the set of functions required to establish, operate and maintain client/server and peer level VPN. Network functionality is described from a network level viewpoint, taking into account the VPN network layered structure, client characteristic information, client/server associations, networking topology and layer network functionality.