DirectAccess is not new, but it is improved in Windows Server 2012.
For those of you who are not familiar with DirectAccess, let me briefly describe a scenario that I live every week (or three)…
It’s time to fill out and submit expense reports for my many travels and the associated costs to the company. To do this, Microsoft has an internal tool that is lovingly called “MS Expense”. It is a browser-based application that requires me to know an internal address. So.. the address to this web site, plus many of the other internal resources such as HR / Benefits, News, SharePoints.. they’re all at named resources that don’t (and can’t) exist on the Internet. I need to be on the corporate network. But… I’m at home. Or in a hotel / airport / coffee shop.
“So yeah.. big deal. It’s called a ‘VPN’, Kevin.”
Ah.. but that’s where our experiences diverge. You (and I, in the past) have had to first make that connection happen as an extra step. But , with DirectAccess, all I need is to be on the Internet. Those internal resources are as readily available to me as any Internet resource. I simply go to “MS Expense”, and start lying. ..er… start filling out and submitting my expenses accurately and honestly.
And for IT Organizations, an added benefit is that the PCs you’re responsible for are also accessible by you. Inventories and updates and pushing policies or software works as easily as if those machines were on the corporate network, because, in a sense, they are.
Today’s “31 Days of our Favorite Things” article is provided by Sumeeth Evans (@sumeethevans). He’s going to tell you all about how making DirectAccess happen with a foundation of Windows Server 2012 is so much better than the original.
Does this sound useful? Have you been using it in Windows Server 2008 R2? Have any questions? That’s what the comments are for.