Industry Opening it’s eyes to OpenVPN

Macworld Australia Staff
20 September, 2011
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OpenVPN systems have a loyal contingent of supporters in the IT industry, and recent moves by major technology vendors to introduce specialised OpenVPN products have seen their popularity increase even further in the mainstream market.

An OpenVPN network can be implemented in two key ways, the most popular being via a road warrior setup where the system is optimised by travelling workers. The second setup, which is the quiet achiever in the OpenVPN world, is via a gateway-to-gateway system that allows a connection between offices and sites.

Gateway-to-gateway implementations are steadily growing in popularity as they are lightweight; can be installed on a server platform, a client’s machine, as a cloud infrastructure component and more commonly in commercial network and firewall appliances; and they are becoming more readily available in many commercial products.

Endian’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) products include OpenVPN functionality for both road warrior and gateway-to-gateway implementations. Endian also has a specialised gateway-to-gateway product in the Endian 4i.

Veritech Corporation’s Network Engineer, Mr Gerard Simms, said that while the Endian 4i contains most UTM features, the compact size of the appliance makes it an ideal platform for VPN tunnels to home or small offices.

“Gateway-to-gateway installations are popular with Endian users who have multiple offices as it makes it easy to access resources regardless of where they are located,” Mr Simms said.

“At Veritech, our Senior Manager uses a 4i gateway-to-gateway mode to access the main office from his home office.  This is a permanently connected tunnel that has all the routing fixtures in place, as well as security settings to guarantee a rock-solid VPN tunnel. The manager is able to transparently access all the office resources such as the accounting system, wiki resources, billing systems, and CRM systems without being aware of where they are actually located,” he said.

Another well known Australian technology company, NetComm, has recently released a NextG router with in-built OpenVPN, specially designed for gateway-to-gateway installations.

NetComm’s Managing Director, David Stewart, said that OpenVPN was incorporated into its industrial NextG™ / 3G M2M wireless router to enable portability, security and simple installation.

“The system has become a defacto standard in the industry in accordance with wireless network and M2M advances. With businesses increasingly utilising VPN connections to reduce operational expenditure and increase productivity, we combined the two systems into a single router to provide the flexibility and performance capabilities required for business efficiency,” said Mr Stewart.

“The NextG™ / 3G M2M wireless router accommodates multiple communication interfaces and is equipped with a tri-band 3G module to support point-to-point or point-to-multi-point data transfers over most of the world’s HSPA networks. OpenVPN is the ideal system to combine with NextG™ wireless to ensure the delivery of reliable and versatile communications that meet the specific application needs of today’s businesses,” said Mr Stewart.


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  1. Introducing layout themes and styles in FileMaker Pro 13

    FileMaker Pro, help, inspector, macworld australiaIf you are reading this, you are most likely aware of the benefits offered by FileMaker Pro 13, from streamlining your business’ data to organising projects, but how do you make your FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions look the part?

    This is where layout themes and styles come in.

    Would you like the layout to show your business logo when your employees are entering data into the database? Would you like to create conformity across all pages, maybe with a colour theme that matches your business?

    In order to increase usability for your database, a well-designed layout will make the solution both appealing to look at, but also more efficient – as those entering or viewing data will be able to easily navigate the fields in front of them.

    What is a style?

    In FileMaker Pro, a style is the way a layout object, layout part and the database’s background appear. This encompasses the colour or transparency of objects and backgrounds, the style of line used within the layout, the borders of objects and parts, the shape of objects, the shadows outside or inside an object’s border, and the display state of an object.

    For example, when your draw a square on your layout, the initial appearance of the square will be determined by the theme currently being used by the layout. The colour of the square, the lines that define it and any shadow that appears are all differing styles that add up to make a theme.

    The initial theme is called the default and ensures that all objects added to the layout carry a similar look. So, if you add a second square to the layout, it will have the same colour and borders. Though this does not have to be the case if you would like to differentiate them.

    And a theme?

    A theme is the collection of a number of styles used in a layout. Themes are the full picture of how your layout or report appears, and encompass all of the individual styles applied to objects, parts and the background. The theme does not affect the way a layout functions, but when you apply a theme to a layout it will alter the way it looks and feels.

    Making alterations

    Adjusting a style in a theme is very simple. If you click on the object, layout part or background you would like to alter, open the Inspector and head to the Appearances tab, you will see the Style label field at the top. This indicates the current style.  If no changes have been made, it will likely read as ‘Default’.

    Alter the style of the object, layout part or background by editing the property settings on the Appearance tab of the Inspector. Once you have made your layout look the way you would like, select the red arrow that will have appeared as you were making your changes and click ‘Save As New Style’.

    Type in a new name for your style and press OK. Continue to create as many additional styles as you would like in your layout. If you would like to apply a style to multiple objects or modify a style slightly between two objects, your previous styles will be available in the Styles list on the Style tab of the Inspector.

    Once you have made all of the changes you would like, you have the option of creating a new theme or saving the changes to the current theme.

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