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Install and configure Direct Access on a Windows Server Essentials for hassle-free remote access · Click Edit in Step 3 · Click Browse · Sometimes this acts. DirectAccess allows connectivity for remote users to an organization’s At this point you can follow the instructions to connect to VPN following the. 1 – Open Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Remote Access Management. 2 – In the Remote Access Management console, under.
 
 

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Install and Configure Basic DirectAccess | Microsoft Docs.DirectAccess | Microsoft Docs

 

This could entail standardized firewall settings, shared drives, intranet sites- anything located on the local network. With the market as a whole pivoting to support working remotely, however, trying to make sure that those settings remain consistent can be a significantly greater challenge when users are at home. Some options of course will still be accessible on the open Internet, but if we want to keep our security the same as when users are on-site, that is going to require some form of remote access.

Some organizations are able to do this with advanced networking hardware- creating a permanent point-to-point tunnel between locations. However, in the case of individual users this becomes extremely cost-prohibitive- especially in situations where their IP address regularly changes, such as with residential Internet Access. Therefore, we would want something between a regular user-initiated VPN software client and a dedicated hardware solution. Enter Microsoft DirectAccess. If you are taking a look at implementing a fresh environment using Microsoft DirectAccess, it would be recommended as of the time of writing to at least consider using a newer operating system version, as support for both Microsoft Server and R2 will be ending in Before you begin the installation, you MUST make sure that you already have an Active Directory domain set up in your environment along with creating the Machine OU that you will be using to target your DirectAccess Clients ahead of time.

This is because DirectAccess will only work for systems that are joined to your domain. You will also want to verify what the end goal of this deployment is, since as we mentioned before only Workstations of Windows 7 Enterprise or higher will work, along with Servers of Windows Server R2 or higher. For the purposes of the example today, we are going to be using Windows Server Standard.

Additionally, even if your environment does not use IPv6 at all, this server will need to have it active due to the tunneling requirements of DirectAccess. On your Server operating system, we will want to go to Server Manager to begin with. You will need to select the destination servers you are choosing to install the role onto, and for the purposes of our example here, we are located directly on the server in question. A screen displaying the prerequisites for installing this role will appear, such as management tools and IIS.

As mentioned before, if not already installed you will need to install IIS. Final confirmation will be displayed, asking if you are certain that you wish to go through with the installation. Post-install, you will want to reboot the system just to make sure that everything is good to go. When it comes back up again, Server Manager will have an attention flag to show you that something needs post-installation configuration- in this case, completion of DirectAccess setup.

The wizard will scan for any required prerequisites and display prompts accordingly. Here is where the settings will start to vary depending on your environment- whether this server is directly connected to the web, acting as an intermediary between a DMZ and the internal network, or is only on the internal network. This step is why we made sure that IPv6 is enabled on our connection earlier; as if you do not have it turned on, you will receive an error message on this phase.

It will ask you if you want to adjust group membership and GPO settings, which you absolutely will want to do. This may not necessarily be required in a test environment, but it is essential in a production one. Rather, we can select a particular group of computers from AD, which can be quickly modified through standard methods.

We can verify that the GPO settings are assigned to the proper group in Group Policy Management available via our Domain Controller or other standard means. If we have configured everything properly, the next time the system reboots we will be using DirectAccess. DirectAccess does have a high bar to entry, and is not for everyone that is certain. That being said, it has the potential to be well worth it if your organization needs something fast and completely supported from a single vendor from end to end.

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