Cisco Systems Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. had been working to have VPN support available by the release date of Mac OS 10.4, but they were not able to get the work done in time, according to Pete Davis, product line manager for remote-access VPNs at Cisco.
"We had a goal of having the client operational by the time of the release, but the dates just didnt line up," he said. But Cisco expects that support will be available by mid-May.
Until then, Davis advises users who rely on Cisco VPNs to delay their upgrade plans until the support is in place.
If a user installs Tiger and then attempts to launch the VPN client, what is most likely to appear is an error message stating that the IPC (interprocess communications) socket allocation failed and giving the cause as Ciscos VPN service.
Although the error message tells users to start the service and try again, a restart will not solve the problem until Cisco issues its fix in May.
In advance of the OS release, the University of California at Los Angeles has issued an alert to its students warning that if they wish to upgrade to Tiger, they will have no available means of connecting to the universitys wireless network.
"Apples built-in PPTP [Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol] does not work with our current network setup, and the most recent Cisco VPN client will not work with Mac OS 10.4," the alert said.
Those most affected at this point are users who have obtained a prerelease copy of Tiger, Davis said. But after Tigers official release, it is possible that Cisco will see a surge in its support calls from those who download Tiger immediately.
Davis emphasized that the conflict between the VPN client and the OS is not unusual. "When theres a major upgrade to an operating system, it takes work on the part of vendors to make sure theres interoperability, and this was no exception," he said. "Cisco and Apple have a very good relationship, and so this was just a matter of the timing not working out, nothing more."