The DirectAccess Early Adopter’s Guide is now live for public download here.

Working outside the office is about to become a lot simpler. DirectAccess in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 enhances the productivity of mobile workers by connecting them seamlessly and more securely to their corporate network any time they have Internet access—without the need to VPN. DirectAccess marks the beginning of the shift to thin-edge networking and a continuation of policy-based security. By implementing DirectAccess, your organization is deploying the foundation for connectivity and security that will carry it into the future.

As well as authenticating the computer, DirectAccess can also authenticate the user and supports multifactor authentication, such as a smart card. IT administrators can configure which intranet resources specific users can access using DirectAccess. DirectAccess uses IPv6-over-IPsec to encrypt communications transmitted across the Internet. With DirectAccess, IT administrators can manage mobile computers by updating Group Policy settings and distributing software updates any time the mobile computer has Internet connectivity, even if the user is not logged on. This flexibility gives IT the opportunity to service remote machines on a regular basis and ensures that mobile users stay up-to-date with company policies.