· 2 min read
I’ve been wanting to play around with Microsoft Direct Access since it was first released with Windows Server 2008. The issue back then was the requirement for multiple public IP Addresses, which was out of reach for my home broadband connectivity at the time.
If you haven’t come across Direct Access, it’s a VPN from client to server, without the VPN Client. I tend to think of it as VPN over https just like Exchange (Outlook Client). It allows the user to just work on the company network at all times as long as they have an internet connection.
With the introduction of Windows Server 2012/R2, Microsoft has reduced the requirements of Direct Access to a single public IP Address. Which allows it to be used by SMEs, right? Well kind of, Direct Access is only supported in Windows 7/8 Enterprise. Such a dumb move by Microsoft.
We rolled out Direct Access (In our office) to take a look at how it all works and how well.
We configured it as per the guides and it should have just worked, but it didn’t, we couldn’t get a connection. That evening I duplicated our office configuration in my home lab environment and continued the next day, still not getting a connection after Binging/Googling, I found this update (https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2929930) and a reboot later I got a connection from my laptop to my home lab.
Yet the office configuration just wouldn’t work, the only thing that was different between the Office configuration and the Lab configuration was the router. In the Office we were using a Draytek Vigor 2820 in the Lab we were using a DrayTek Vigor 2830. We switch the router and it all started working. 🙂
The only reason I can think why this resolved the issue is that the DrayTek Vigor 2830 supports IPv6.
Below are the various links that we used for troubleshooting and configuration guides.
Troubleshooting tool: - https://directaccess.richardhicks.com/tag/windows-7/
Hotfix We Installed: - https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2929930
Installation Guide: - https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/directaccess-on-windows-2012/
Once we got this all working, we were very impressed with how it all worked. Group Policy settings work, and file shares appear immediately.
I hope this post helps if you’re looking to deploy this technology. Feel free to fire any questions that you may have. :-)