DirectAccess provides users with the experience of being seamlessly connected to their intranet any time they have Internet access. When DirectAccess is enabled, requests for intranet resources (such as email servers, shared folders, or intranet websites) are securely directed to the intranet, without the need for users to connect to a VPN.
DirectAccess enables increased productivity for a mobile workforce by offering the same connectivity experience both inside and outside of the office. The Windows Routing and Remote Access Server (RRAS) provides traditional VPN connectivity for legacy clients and non-domain members. RRAS also provides site-to-site connections between servers. RRAS in Windows Server 2008 R2 cannot coexist on the same edge server with DirectAccess, and must be deployed and managed separately from DirectAccess.
Windows Server 2012 combines the DirectAccess feature and the RRAS role service into a new unified server role. This new Remote Access server role allows for centralized administration, configuration, and monitoring of both DirectAccess and VPN-based remote access services. Additionally, Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess provides multiple updates and improvements to address deployment blockers and provide simplified management.
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for configuring DirectAccess in a single server deployment with mixed IPv4 and IPv6 resources in a test lab to demonstrate functionality of the deployment experience. You will set up and deploy DirectAccess based on the Windows Server 2012 Base Configuration using five server computers and two client computers. The resulting test lab simulates an intranet, the Internet, and a home network, and demonstrates DirectAccess in different Internet connection scenarios.