The Integrated Services Adapter (ISA) for Cisco 7100 and 7200 series routers provides high-performance, hardware-assisted tunneling and encryption services suitable for private WAN and virtual private network (VPN) applications. As an integral component of Cisco security solutions, the ISA provides encryption scalability while working seamlessly with advanced WAN and VPN services such as quality of service (QoS), firewall and intrusion detection, and service-level validation. This feature integration, combined with ISA support for the broad set of LAN/WAN media and services, ensures the smooth integration of encryption technology into virtually any enterprise or service provider network environment.
The high-performance acceleration of Cisco IP Security (IPSec) offered by the ISA also provides privacy, integrity, and authenticity for fast-emerging VPN deployments—crucial requirements for transmission of sensitive information over the Internet. The ISA supports Data Encryption Standard (DES) or Triple DES IPSec encryption at full duplex DS-3 line rate (90 Mbps) for site-to-site VPNs. For mixed VPN environments with both site-to-site and remote access VPN requirements, the ISA supports up to 2000 encrypted tunnels. The ISA co-processor architecture offloads these processor-intensive functions from the main route processor, minimizing impact on system resources, thus delivering increased tunneling and encryption scalability for the most demanding encryption deployments. In addition, ISA support for advanced IPSec system facilities, such as the Cisco Tunnel Endpoint Discovery (TED) protocol, allows customers to implement IPSec transparently into the network infrastructure without the need for time-consuming crypto map management and without affecting individual workstations or PCs.
The ISA also supports Microsoft's Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE), providing highly scalable remote access VPN capabilities to Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT systems. The ISA supports up to 2000 simultaneous PPTP/MPPE remote VPN users protected with strong, 128-bit RC-4 encryption. With support for IPSec or PPTP/MPPE, the ISA provides flexible options in remote access deployment models, enabling enterprises to utilize software resident in Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT, L2TP/IPSec software resident in Microsoft Windows 2000 or Cisco Secure VPN client software based on IPSec (or other qualified third-party IPSec clients). For VPN environments requiring concurrent support of both IPSec and MPPE acceleration in the same Cisco 7200 system, multiple ISA cards may be installed in any open port adapter slots. In a Cisco 7100 series system, the primary encryption service is provided by the Integrated Services Module (ISM). The ISA, however, can be installed in the open port adapter slot of a Cisco 7100 series system to deliver concurrent IPSec and MPPE acceleration.