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With the holidays now behind us, attention becomes focused on the new devices entering the workplace previously received as gifts two weeks or so prior. To add, this week marks the unveiling of new devices at the 47th annual Consumer Electronic Show in which many manufactures will be showcasing the latest in notebooks, tablets, smartphones and other electronics such as the recently announce Lenovo ThinkPad 8. With that in mind, IT professionals now feel the further push, now more than ever, to allow these devices to access resources within one's organization. One way to enable employees to have access is via Microsoft's DirectAccess offered in Windows Server 2012 R2.
What is DirectAccess?
DirectAccess, introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2, is a remote access feature allowing connectivity to corporate network resources without the requirement of Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. DirectAccess at the time only supported domain-joined Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate edition clients. Windows Routing and Remote Access Server (RRAS) will continue to provide traditional VPN connectivity for legacy clients, non-domain joined clients, third party VPN clients and site-to-site server connections. RRAS in Windows Server 2008 R2 must be deployed and managed separately from DirectAccess as it cannot coexist on the same edge server.
In 2012, DirectAccess offered with Windows Server 2012 R2 combines the feature and the RRAS role service into a new unified server role. This new Remote Access role allows for centralized configuration, administration, and monitoring of both VPN-based remote access services and DirectAccess. Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess also provides multiple updates and improvements to address deployment blockers and provide simplified management.
These features include:
Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Windows Server 2012 R2, DirectAccess deployment is also now simplified with a working configuration deployed in a few clicks. However, options are also available to allow for DirectAccess accessibility through a multitude of deployment options should the standard configuration not meet your organizations requirements. These deployment options include:
Download and install Windows Server 2012 R2 in your lab to complete this exercise. Alternatively you can complete this lab in a virtual lab setup by downloading and installing Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
Direct Access Deployment Steps
Once completed successfully, the ability to look through all the configuration steps and edit as needed/necessary is made available.
To explore the new DirectAccess feature for yourself download the Windows Server 2012 R2 installation kit.
Can a Windows 7 Ultimate Computer connect to a Windows server 2012 Single Network Adapter (Behind a EDGE/NAT) with a public IPv4 address?