Direct access was a technology Microsoft introduced with 2008 R2 to allow “always on” remote access for external users to the corporate network, however there were various technical requirements that meant that it wasn’t widely adopted. This has changed with Server 2012, and the requirements are far more flexible, allowing it to be easily deployed to every size of business from SMB upwards.
Users get the same experience working in the office any time they have an Internet connection. Their computer is automatically connected to the corporate network every time an internet connection is available. User’s can browse their file-shares and intranet sites just as they do inside the office, the user does not need to start, click, or initiate any type of connection, it is all automatic.
DA has various advantages over the traditional VPN model that many companies deploy:
- It is always on – there is no need for a user to initiate a VPN connection to their network
- Works through all firewalls
- All traffic is encrypted via SSL automatically
- No additional username or password is needed
Additionally it also brings these benefits to the IT department which are not always immediately apparent:
- Group Policies are fully supported and deployed as normal to pcs/users
- Password resets/changes for remote users are simple and work as they do in the office
- Systems Management software such as SCCM and WSUS work can be used as normal
- It can be integrated with Network Access Protection if required
If you think about all of the items above, I hope you can see the advantages that direct access can bring not only to productivity to your users, but also help increase the security and manageability of your client machines. If you would like more information or a demonstration of direct access, please get in touch and we can help you on your journey to a easy to use and secure remote access solution!