NetMotion Wireless announced version 7.2 of its Mobility XE mobile VPN software package, which now supports the Windows Vista operating system and gives network administrators more control.

Perhaps the most important enhancement is the more robust backend that lets administrators create policies based on user devices and the types of wireless systems they’re accessing, according to Michael Van Patten, the company’s vice president.

“The administrators can see all that, so they’ll know if you’re coming in from a Wi-Fi network at a Starbucks—you might not be able to have access to certain computer servers, or they might not let you out to certain Internet sites,” Van Patten said last week in an interview with MRT at the GovSec homeland security conference held in Washington, D.C. “All of that can be controlled by the network administrator on the backend, and they like that.”

NetMotion also improved the software’s quality-of-service capabilities, Van Patten said. Network administrators now can set application-specific priorities. “For instance, you can set voice over IP or video operation as a higher priority than surfing the Internet or checking e-mail,” he said.

In addition, the new version improves network performance by doing a better job of optimizing TCP/IP traffic and automatically compressing data files. “It will compress things until you tell it not to through the policy engine,” Van Patten said. “So, if you’re sending a picture over the Internet, the software will compress the heck out of it to reduce that traffic.”

Also, the software leverages “packet coalescence,” which is the ability to aggregate myriad packets generated by multiple applications into a single packet with a single VPN header. “Other VPNs will send each packet individually, which creates a lot of extra traffic that slows [the network] down,” Van Patten said.

An enterprise version of the software—designed for entities with 1000 users or more—also is available for the first time, Van Patten said. This version supports an unlimited number of servers on the network and enables “server pools” that network administrators should find handy, he said. “You can have a dozen servers all connected in a pool, and they have automatic redundancy, rollover and load-balancing, so someone with tens of thousands of mobile clients [on their network] won’t have to worry.”