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Perle Systems, (NASDAQ:PERL, TSE:PL) a leading provider of networking products for e-business access, today announced plans to provide VPN (Virtual Private Network) support on its 594e and 594Tnetwork controllers. Committed to arming its midrange customers with the strategic and cost-effective e-business capabilities afforded by VPN technology, Perle is the first and only vendor to offer breakthrough VPN support for remote AS/400 users and will deliver the first stage of this functionality by the end of 1999.

"VPN dramatically cuts enterprise networking costs, while at the same time delivering the security technology needed by our enterprise customers to confidently deploy e-business applications via the Internet or IP-based private networks," said Joe Perle, President and CEO of Perle Systems. "Perle has always been in the business of providing its AS/400 users with more functionality and value than they can get from any other AS/400 connectivity solution, including the combination of stand-alone controllers or routers. By being first to market with fully integrated VPN capabilities, we are again giving our remote midrange customers access to the technology that they need for future business growth."

Implementing a VPN infrastructure can save a typical branch office up to 50% on networking costs, when compared with private network options, such as Frame Relay or leased lines.
In addition to the significant cost savings it brings, the Perle 594 series with VPN will further benefit AS/400 customers by:
 Providing AS/400 users with a smooth, rapid and cost-effective solution for setting-up new branch offices.
 Facilitating the secure rollout of e-business applications to corporate offices, partners, suppliers, and customers.
 Giving branch offices a secure end-to-end solution for communicating across the Internet through one integrated platform.

Perle’s 594 series, which includes the Perle 594e and 594T Network Controllers, is already the most advanced branch office connectivity solution for the AS/400 market. Fully compatible with the IBM 5494 controller and more feature rich and simpler to install and configure than combined controller and router solutions, the Perle 594 series allows customers to run SNA across an IP network. Through its integrated routing feature the Perle 594 series also supports IP devices (including thin clients) at remote sites, in addition to an existing Twinax and SNA infrastructure.

Combining the new VPN functionality with existing IP routing capabilities significantly enhances the Perle 594’s position as the best solution for AS/400 customers needing to migrate towards an open networked environment, without abandoning their investment in the existing SNA infrastructure.

For the benefit of its customers, Perle has chosen a staged approach to provision VPN capabilities on the 594 series. The first stage, planned for delivery before the end of this year, will provide customers with full PPP support for all 594e and 594T units, with serial numbers of 59-08000 or higher, allowing users to leverage out-sourced VPN services. The second stage, planned for release in Q1 2000, will add support for IPSec to the Perle 594 platform; giving customers access to secure end-to-end communications across the Internet.

Perle will provide customers with a choice of two VPN packages. Both will be based on IPSec, the de facto e-business security standard, already supported by the IETF and endorsed by major networking vendors including IBM, Cisco, and Nortel Networks, and natively supported on the AS/400(IBM OS/400 V4R4).

; VPN Package
The VPN Package will be available for both the Perle 594e and 594T and will include VPN functionality along with full IP support.

; Enhanced Networking Plus Package
Available only for the Perle 594e, the Enhanced Networking Plus Package will include all the benefits of VPN functionality along with full IP support plus NC Proxy Boot Server capability.

Customers who purchase Perle 594 controllers with serial numbers of 59-08000 or higher and the Perle IP Routing Feature or Enhanced Networking Feature will be able to upgrade to full PPP support in the future without further charge. Upgrade packages will be made available for customers to add VPN functionality to their existing 594e and 594T controllers.

Full PPP support will be delivered as a standard function of the Perle IP Routing Feature and the Perle Enhanced Networking Feature in Q4 1999. The Perle VPN Package and the Perle Enhanced Networking Plus Package (594e) will be available in Q1 2000. These new kits will be priced at £720.00 and £1,070.00 respectively.

About Perle Systems
Perle Systems is a leading developer, manufacturer and vendor of award-winning networking hardware products. These products are used to connect remote users reliably and securely to central servers for a wide variety of e-business and general business applications. Perle specialises in IP (Internet Protocol) connectivity with product lines that include Remote Access Servers for Ethernet and token ring LANs, Terminal Servers and Serial connectivity products and Network Controllers. These products provide access to leading e-business platforms, including AS/400, NT and
LINUX/UNIX. Perle Systems has offices in 15 countries and sells its products through distribution channels worldwide. Its stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market (symbol PERL) and The Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol PL). For more information about Perle and its products, access the Company's Web site at

*Prices subject to change without notice

Editor’s Notes:
Interviews, photography, reviews and a full product fact sheet available from Alison Garvey or Graham Thatcher at MCC International.

Alison Garvey/Graham Thatcher Sean O’Donovan
MCC International Ltd Perle Systems Inc.
Tel: 01420 477799 Tel: + 1 (905) 946-5003
Email: Email:

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