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I noticed by RVS4000 is losing performance while IPSec is enabled on the Cisco. Would it be wiser to use the Windows Server IPSec to handle the processing instead? What are the risks/rewards in this scenario?

EDIT: In short is it better to use the Cisco for IPSec or use software on Windows Server 2008 R2?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm assuming you're using the IPSEC functionality of your RVS4000 router for terminating VPN connections (either user-to-site or site-to-site). I tend to feel more comfortable terminating VPN connections with a dedicated hardware device or dedicated server computer, when I can, versus using a general-purpose server computer.

If your Windows Server 2008 R2 machine is also being used as a file server, application server, Active Directory Domain Controller, etc, then I'd be hard-pressed to recommend using it to terminate an IPSEC VPN as well. (Yes, yes-- for years Microsoft's Small Business Server products have terminated PPTP / L2TP VPNs on a server computer that performs every function possible. That doesn't mean it's a great idea.)

If you elect to terminate a VPN on a general purpose server computer be aware that the server computer's attack surface may be larger (because you will need to expose it to IKE and IPSEC-encrypted/authenticated packets coming in from the Internet) than if you'd just left VPN termination up to a dedicated device or server.

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