Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Cisco isn't doing what is right for the customer with VPN client

I work for a Cisco partner so I get lots of updates on product releases, roadmaps and all the business "justifications" of why they do what they do and how to explain that to customers. I also happen to be a Microsoft MVP and I have switched to using Windows 7 64-bit on a fulltime basis (though I can still boot into my Ubuntu install too if needed.) As someone who uses VPN alot, primarily to do remote support for clients it is incredibly frustrating to NOT have a Cisco supported 64-bit IPSec client for Windows Vista or 7.

The reason I bring this up is Cisco just sent out an announcement titled "Cisco VPN Client v5.0.6 (Windows 7 32-bit support) is now available!" - are you kidding me? That is it?

Cisco, you are hurting your install base of clients, you are NOT doing what is right for them. The statement at the end of the announcement says it all. " 64-bit support is under consideration, but is not yet EC'ed for an upcoming release. This support is available in the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client today (SSL/DTLS). " Translation - we want you to by a new Cisco solution that works with AnyConnect, if you don't have it we will force you to migrate by not developing a 64-bit IPSec client or integrating that functionality into the AnyConnect client that does support 64-bit.

I do not understand this thinking. What about all the Routers, PIX and VPN Concentrator that are deployed that will not get replaced that do NOT support AnyConnect. Now clients are going to purchase new machines with Windows 7 64-bit and have NO capabilities to VPN back into their network with a Cisco solution (at least not without buying a new Cisco product.) The first thing to pop into my head would be is there a free VPN alternative so I don't have to do this upgrade? Alternately, there are other 3rd party IPSec clients that are supported on Windows 7 like NCP and TheGreenBow but honestly, why should an existing Cisco client have to pay for a new software client when they had one that was working!

I honestly have had more pushback about this one item in meetings than anything else lately. Cisco has corrected the cost difference between IPSec and SSL VPN for the ASA - it is time to correct this also.
- Ed

1 comment:

rhyous said...

Well, that is why I am not using Cisco's VPN client anymore.

I have Windows 7 64 bit and I am using Shrew Soft VPN Client and it has been flawless and stable for me.

Read about my Shrew Soft VPN experience here:
Windows 7 64 bit VPN Client – ShrewSoft