12.7. Working Together

Interestingly enough, although Cisco, Microsoft, and the Trusted Computing Group promote their frameworks and architectures, they also work together to provide greater interoperability. These varying types and levels of interoperability can deliver many strategic benefits to your organization.

12.7.1. Microsoft NAP–Cisco NAC framework

Microsoft NAP and Cisco NAC frameworks can interoperate. This interoperability between frameworks allows organizations to protect their investments in network and security infrastructure. With a combined, interoperable framework, it can use a single agent — the NAP Agent in Microsoft Windows Vista. So, it doesn't need the Cisco Trust Agent (CTA), which is part of a non-integrated Cisco NAC framework. Also, it can use a single API to develop any necessary client- and server-side components to support the interoperable frameworks.

The integrated Cisco NAC–Microsoft NAP framework can use several of the Cisco NAC framework components and many of the Microsoft NAP framework components. (We describe these components in the section "Microsoft Network Access Protection [NAP]," earlier in this chapter.) It reuses and repurposes some of these components, so you should know their function and how they work together in the combined framework.


The Cisco NAC Appliance isn't part of the Cisco NAC–Microsoft NAP integrated framework.

A computer or other device that runs Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 should ...

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