Extranet Design

Extranets can be difficult to design and implement due to the complexities of security, performance, management and policy that are encountered when bridging information systems. Security and management policies will influence the success of an Extranet's deployment as much if not more than the specific technology that is used.

One key to a successful and secure Extranet is to ensure that all access is controlled through a single gateway that can be monitored, audited and controlled. You should not be allowing partners or customers directly through your corporation's firewall and onto your Intranet. A much safer architecture is one where a secure server is available outside of your LAN for partners to access through the Internet.


A firewall is inserted between the Internet connection and your LAN. The firewall controls information that can travel between your LAN and the Internet. A firewall will protect your LAN, and it will not inconvenience users who need to transfer information over the Internet.

The use of a Firewall is always the best option. A firewall is a dedicated computer in that it runs only the firewall software, and sits between the local LAN and the Internet. The firewall will only allow very specific information to travel between these two networks.

An Extranet provides the security assurances required to protect confidental data on your LAN, and it provides a highly configurable and cost-effective access for all employees to the Internet.