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A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that creates a safe, encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the public internet. VPNs are typically used to connect remote users and machines to a private network.
A virtual directory or virtual directory server is a technology that provides a consolidated view of user identity and related information without having to migrate users into a single enterprise directory infrastructure. It serves as a lightweight service that operates between identity consumers and the various identity repositories across the environment. These identity repositories can be LDAP directories, databases, or even web services, and access to information can be either proxied through the virtual directory or correlated and cached through a complex set of rules.