The Case for Virtual Business Processes
thieves, in a virtual business, you do not place all your data on display for all your
competitors to review.
The trick is to apply technology in such a way that the ideas of access and data
security can be applied quickly and easily. You can limit the space that needs to be
secured in two ways:
• Implement virtual LAN (VLAN) technology.
• Build a portal through which users must pass to access your business.
The following sections examine each of these approaches in more detail.
This section assumes that you are familiar with LAN technology. VLANs
push the physical limits by extending the concept of locality.
LAN technology was invented to connect resources in a local environment to
achieve interconnection of workers to share ﬁles, applications, and devices such
as printers. This works ﬁne when the environment to be interconnected is rather
small or when it is mapped over a fairly small geography. Problems arise,
however, when the number of users increases to more than a few hundred or when
the environment over which services will be delivered encompasses large
The problem is with the Ethernet technology that is commonly used in the
local environment. Ethernet is based on the carrier sense multiple access
collision detect (CSMA/CD) protocol. In this protocol, the equivalent of a
digital mob scene is refereed according to who can yell when no one else is
yelling. Everyone else quiets down and lets the yeller yell until he runs out of
breath. Then someone else yells. But what if there are so many people trying to
yell that there is hardly any quiet space? Or, just as bad, what if the distance
between two people yelling is so great that neither side can hear the other one
yelling? Figure 5-3 illustrates this process: Everyone is on the same line, talking
These problems occur only when the yelling parties are in the same logical
environment. If technology is applied to subdivide the environment into smaller