(Discuss UAG DirectAccess issues on the TechNet Forums over at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/forefrontedgeiag)
I had a question from small business specialist Amy Babinchak (http://securesmb.harborcomputerservices.net/) recently regarding DirectAccess and the small and midsized business. I think this is an important issue to address, because often the small and midsized business is the one that’s willing to take a bit of a risk to get a jump on the competition, and if that advantage can be realized by taking advantage of relatively new technologies, they’re willing to go for it.
There’s no doubt that a small or midsized business would benefit from DirectAccess. The ability to transparently access content on the business network without ever needing to think about where the user is and any point in time can be a powerful advantage for or small or midsized business. It’s clear that they would benefit from DA.
What are the limitations? For most small and midsized businesses, UAG might be priced out of those markets. I’m not saying that this is a hard and fast rule, and although these firms are more likely to take a technology risk to get a competitive advantage, they are also very cost sensitive and not as able to absorb the financial risk.
This does not lock the small and midsized business out of the DA market. In fact, you can craft a DA solution using Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition, which is well within the price range of any small or midsized business. However, if you use the Windows DA solution without UAG, you need to be aware of the following:
If a small or midsized business can deal with these limitations, then there’s no reason why they can’t benefit from a DirectAccess deployment. I see the major hurdle being the requirement that all the back end servers being IPv6 aware, which means in a Windows environment that they’ll need to be Windows Server 2008 or above. If that requirement is met, then I say to the small and midsized business integrator or admin, rock on!
Here’s a excellent clearinghouse of DirectAccess information that includes content for both the Windows and UAG DA admin and implementer:
I recommend that if you want to deploy the Windows DirectAccess solution, that you work this way:
As always, let me know if you have any questions!
Tom Shinder email@example.com MS ISD iX UAG Direct Access/Anywhere Access Team The “Edge Man” blog (DA all the time): http://blogs.technet.com/tomshinder/default.aspx Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tshinder Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tshinder