Remember when you jumped from dial-up to DSL or a cable modem? You know what I mean. Those technology jumps that just make you smile really wide? Well, I have news for you. There’s another one coming that is going to rock your world. It’s called DirectAccess and although I am not particularly fond of the name, the name is accurate.
Simply put, it’s direct access to your corporate network across an automatically established tunnel. There’s a lot that has to happen in order for that to occur, but thankfully nearly everything is transparent to the user.
DirectAccess clients maintain constant connectivity with the intranet, and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) provides the end-to-end addressing necessary to accomplish this. Since many organizations do not yet have IPv6 deployed, DirectAccess includes IPv6 transition technologies to help ensure IPv6 connectivity.
IP-HTTPS is a new protocol for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that allows hosts behind a Web proxy server or firewall to establish connectivity by tunneling IPv6 packets inside an IPv4-based HTTPS session. HTTPS is used instead of HTTP so that Web proxy servers will not attempt to examine the data stream and terminate the connection.
Want to see this in action? Sure you do! And unlike a lot of the content you see us demo in virtual machines, this demo is the real thing. This is my production Windows 7 laptop. Our MSIT department is hardcore on security so I’ve already logged in using multi factor authentication via a Smartcard.
For More Information
There is a ton of information on the internet about DirectAccess already. I would highly recommend you start studying and learning about IPv6 if you haven’t already. I would also recommend you start learning about the IPv4 to IPv6 transitional technologies that will help you get there. Here are some good references.
- TechNet DirectAccess Area - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/dd420463.aspx.
- Early Adopter’s Guide - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2fdc531d-9138-454f-a820-78211755b52a&displaylang=en.
- Windows 7 DirectAccess section - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/directaccess.aspx.
- MSDN Protocol Info in IP-HTTPS - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd357723(PROT.10).aspx
Errata and other Stupidity
I am constantly amazed at the stupid stuff I say, but don’t pick up on it until after I’ve published something. For instance, I said “a business people’s lives” instead of “a business persons life”. Close to the end I say, “this is some technical networking” instead of “this is some complex or advanced networking”. Wow. Major idiot moments there. LOL.
And I need a chair that shocks the crap out of me when I say “got” too much. Sigh… I probably won’t re-record the darn thing because I am time boxed at the moment. Maybe I’ll record it again when the Windows 7 RC is available and do it from a VM so you can see the full login process and experience.