Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 change the game with how we
communicate and collaborate when travelling, working remotely or needing to
collaborate from home. It changes the game through a technology known as DirectAccess. More specifically,
DirectAccess is a new feature in the Windows 7 client and the Windows Server
2008 R2 operating systems that enables users to be seamlessly connected to
their resources, data and applications through the Internet. DirectAccess
eliminates the need for cumbersome VPN connections or software to get
connected. Collaboration and communication becomes easier than ever before.
You can learn more about the Windows 7 solution through an upcoming TechNet Webcast next month.
Forefront comes into play to help make this even easier
and more widely deployable through the Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) product which is built on
the Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) platform for protection and
firewall capabilities. Both products build upon the DirectAccess
technology built into Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and extend it by
providing enterprise management, flexibility and transitional
capabilities. In short, UAG enables DirectAccess capabilities to all
servers - especially those that are still running or limited to IPv4 addresses.
This effectively provides a DirectAccess experience to legacy applications,
servers and resources. Now, to provide my personal experience in using
the beta internally, it changes the way I do work every day. I have the
freedom to work from anywhere with my laptop and smartcard, I can get access to
data and applications within seconds. I no longer have to spend
time with a VPN connection or worry about unreliable Internet links. I
can feel comfortable going to home or traveling on the road as I know I will
have access to the resources I need wherever I go.
Forefront and Windows have already made my interaction
with colleagues and my team easier than ever before. I predict in the not
too distant future it will change the way businesses communicate and
collaborate in the future. In my mind, this is what Business Ready
Security is all about - productivity without security comprises.
David B. Cross
Product Unit Manager