Today, I want to share some very nice feature with you ;-) The end of the area that VPN's are the only way to connect to your corporate network!
When you are traveling a lot due to business reasons you might be one of the "lucky folks" that are blessed to have a "VPN access" to your company network, jipeeehyeah … or more like uuuahh….sh*t???
Well, if you are one of those relevant people that are more or less "assigned" to use a VPN connection, you may know about the annoying performance, having several things to consider on connecting like start a VPN client, usually installed by your system admin *grin*, enter some password (hopefully not forgot), having some extra stuff like a random number code or a smartcard, maybe an additional code and/or password etc. etc. and short before your connection establishes…… VPN client closes the dial-in process *pah!*
Ok, maybe your security settings are saying, you're not on latest AV-pattern, have not installed latest applied updates and so on or you just had a low bandwidth and a timeout?
No matter and no further worry about, I can tell you a new story about a feature called "Direct Access"!!! Wow! that's amazing!
No connection manager software required anymore, no further dial-in software or other stuff, except at least a smartcard!
*shame* - Ok, to be honest: this feature is first introduced with the new operating systems Windows 7and Server 2008 R2. What is "Direct Access" ? Just click the link and you'll get all Info about it!
In our case, surely we'll talk about how to access in a very neat manner the corporate SharePoint Portal in the intranet "without annoying VPN Stuff!"
It's possible with Forefront UAG (Unified Access Gateway)
I read shortly a blog post about "SharePoint Extranet with Forefront UAG" by Renan Gutman, Microsoft Program Manager which I may share with you here and with kindly concession of Renan ;-)
<quotation> 1/29/2010 SharePoint Extranet with Forefront UAG By Renan Gutman
SharePoint provides a host of features and functionalities for Collaboration, Portal, Search, Enterprise Content Management, Forms Driven Business Process, and Business Intelligence. Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) allows your users to access all your SharePoint sites securely, from any location or device.
Forefront UAG provides the following capabilities to SharePoint extranets:
In addition, Forefront UAG DirectAccess provides remote users with the experience of a seamless connection to the internal network. When Forefront UAG DirectAccess is enabled, requests for internal network resources are directed securely, without the need to connect to a VPN.
You can read more about the Forefront UAG solution for SharePoint extranet here. To read more about Forefront UAG in general click here.
with kind regards, yours Steve Chen, SharePoint Support Engineer, GTSC Germany
Special thanks again to Renan Gutman for the permission to publish this post ;-)
This guy has some interesting ideas about the differences between the two: public.madeinengland.co.nz/vpn-vs-directaccess-which-is-best
you should include some of those points in this article for people :)