Both the Windows DirectAccess and the UAG DirectAccess solutions are heavily dependent on the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. DirectAccess clients take advantage of both firewall rules and Connection Security Rules. Connection Security Rules are IPsec rules that control the IPsec tunnel mode connections between the DirectAccess clients and the DirectAccess server. In addition to the IPsec tunnel mode connections, Connection Security Rules are used to enable IPsec transport mode connections for servers for which you want the DirectAccess clients to connect using end-to-end security.
In order to get the most out of DirectAccess and how DirectAccess works, it helps to have a better understanding of the different components of the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security and how some of the important settings work and how they interact with DirectAccess
Windows Firewall offers three firewall profiles: domain, private and public. The domain profile applies to networks where the host system can authenticate to a domain controller. The private profile is a user-assigned profile and is used to designate private or home networks. Lastly, the default profile is the public profile, which is used to designate public networks such as Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops, airports, and other locations.
Different firewall and connection security rules can be configured for each profile. There are default settings that are applied to each profile, but the administrator can customize their default settings.
The different profiles are important because a computer only works as a DirectAccess client when it is not on the corporate network. In order words, if the DirectAccess client detects that it can connect to its domain controller and is on the corporate network, it will use the domain profile. The DirectAccess client will only act as a DirectAccess client when the Private or Public Profiles are enabled. The reason for this is that the Connection Security Rules that enable the IPsec tunnel mode connections to the DirectAccess server are included only in the Public or Private Profiles. There are no Connection Security Rules that enable IPsec tunnel mode connections to the DirectAccess server in the Domain Profile.
The UAG DirectAccess server (as well as the Windows DirectAccess server) will create the Connection Security Rules that allow for the creation of the DirectAccess IPsec tunnels (and the end-to-end IPsec transport mode connections for servers configured for end-to-end security). However, the UAG DirectAccess wizard does not import any firewall rules that you might have configured to work on the corporate network. Those rules that you created for the intranet hosts were created for the Domain Profile. If you want your Domain Profile firewall rules to apply to DirectAccess clients, you will need to enable those rules on the Public Profile and Private Profile too.
In order for intranet computers to connect to DirectAccess clients, there need to be firewall rules in place on the DirectAccess clients that allow the incoming connections from the intranet servers. In addition, if you are blocking outbound connections, you may need to create rules that enable required protocols outbound. There are several things you need to know about these firewall rules:
While it’s possible for you to create your firewall rules in the DirectAccess Clients GPO, that’s not a good idea because your rules will be overwritten the next time you use the UAG DirectAccess wizard and deploy updated GPO settings. Instead, create a new GPO with the firewall settings and apply it to your DirectAccess clients security group or OU.
For a very good tutorial on configuring firewall rules for DirectAccess client, check out How to enable Remote Desktop Sharing (RDS/RDP) from corporate machines to DirectAccess connected machine at http://blogs.technet.com/b/edgeaccessblog/archive/2010/09/14/how-to-enable-remote-desktop-sharing-rds-rdp-from-corporate-machines-to-directaccess-connected-machines.aspx
And if you want to try it out for yourself in your UAG DirectAccess Test Lab, check out Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate UAG DirectAccess Remote Management over at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=385a3144-8e84-4335-896b-a2927e4d46cd
I’m glad you asked! Yes, there are a few more things you should think about when configuring firewall rules for DirectAccess clients. These are:
Yaniv Naor, SDE Tom Shinder, Knowledge Engineer/Principal Technical Writer, Anywhere Access Group (AAG)
<p>You probably mean "public" profile in the first heading, not "pubic" :-)</p>
<p>Like Paul said.</p>
<p>Windows Firewall Profiles – Pubic Profile, Private Profile and Domain Profile</p>
<p>I'll show you my pubic profile if you show me yours.</p>
<p>OK guys - very funny!</p>
<p>I'm fixing it now :)</p>