Jul 21

Microsoft DirectAccess

Microsoft DirectAcess has made great strides in Windows Server 2012.

Key Points:

  • First available with Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Built-in client support for Windows 7 and newer.
  • Provides always-connected connection to corporate network (connects before the user logs on).
  • Leverages IPV6 and 6to4 tunneling (additional configuration required when using Windows Server 2008 R2 as the DirectAccess server).
  • Windows Server 2012 simplifies the deployment process.
  • Client authentication can leverage Kerberos or certificates. PKI is not required when the DirectAccess server is running Windows Server 2012.
  • DirectAccess clients can be managed regardless of where they are as long as they have network connectivity (outside of the corporate network, internet connectivity is required).
  • DirectAccess connections are IPSec encrypted.
  • The DirectAccess server and clients must be domain-joined.
  • The Windows Firewall needs to be enabled on the server and clients.
  • DirectAccess is not VPN.
  • “When you use Windows 7 clients with DirectAccess in Server 2012 or Server 2008 R2, you need to install a separate DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant (DCA), which gives a system tray icon that shows the DirectAccess connection state.”

Great article describing DirectAccess as well as 2008R2 and 2012 differences and improvements:
http://windowsitpro.com/windows-server-2012/directaccess-windows-server-2012

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