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WServerNews (formerly W2Knews) - Remote Access Solutions

Vol. 17, #38 - September 17, 2012 - Issue #897

Remote Access Solutions

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Remote Access Solutions
    • Tip of the Week
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
  4. Webcast Calendar
  5. Tech Briefing
    • What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Remote Access
    • Deploying Windows 8 with SCCM 2012 SP1 Beta
    • VMware Announces VMware Workstation 9
    • How to wreck your Windows network
  6. Windows Server News
    • Reducing risks with multiple cloud service providers
    • Right-sizing and capacity planning strategies for private clouds
    • Why go with solid-state storage for VDI?
    • Comparing and contrasting vCenter Server with vCSA
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Free SAN Monitor Allows you to Monitor Dell®, IBM®, & Sun® StorageTek™ Storage Arrays

 

Free SAN Monitor Allows you to Monitor Dell®, IBM®, & Sun® StorageTek? Storage Arrays

SolarWinds free SAN Monitor tool gives you a-glance insight into storage performance & capacity with a slick desktop dashboard that lets you view top LUNs by size, busiest LUNS, & most under-utilized LUNs. You can also drill down into LUN inventory details including: LUN size, physical disks, RAID type, total IOPs, IO response time and more. Download and try it out for yourself. It?s free.
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Editor's Corner

This week's issue of WServerNews is all about remote access, an umbrella term that covers a wide range of technologies and solutions for allowing remote users to connect with the corporate network. But speaking of connections, have you ever wondered about the INDISPUTABLE CONNECTION BETWEEN FIREFOX AND WITCHCRAFT?
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614161391

Remote Access Solutions

Remote access has come a long way on the Windows Server platform. Back in the days of Windows 2000 you had dial-up networking and VPN remote access and that was about it. VPNs could be of two types: the easy to set up PPTP kind and the more complicated L2TP/IPsec kind. The problem with these approaches was that they didn't play well with firewalls, NATs and web proxies. As a result, third-party VPN products that tunneled HTTP over SSL became the preferred solution for many businesses as they worked across firewalls, NATs and web proxies. Vendors like Cisco, SonicWALL and others dominated the VPN market with their appliances.

Enter DirectAccess

Windows Server 2008 tried to play catchup in this area by introducing SSTL, a built-in VPN technology that uses HTTP over SSL, but with most businesses having already invested in third-party SSL VPN solutions there has been little motivation to switch to SSTP. But the game really changed when Microsoft introduced a whole new solution to remote connectivity in Windows Server 2008 R2 called DirectAccess. The difference between DirectAccess and a traditional VPN is basically twofold:

The initial version of DirectAccess in Windows Server 2008 R2 was complex to set up, but deploying a DirectAccess solution has been greatly simplified in Windows Server 2012. Basically, all you need to do is install the new unified Remote Access role, which by default installs a role service that supports both DirectAccess and VPN connectivity. Then you launch the Getting Started Wizard to configure remote access, which gives you the option of deploying either or both DirectAccess and VPN:

Image

Then you use the Remote Access Management console to walk through the remaining steps of setting up your remote access solution:

Image

Of course it's a little more complicated than that. For instance, you need to make sure your remote access server and network environment satisfy all the requirements for deploying DirectAccess, see here for some details:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614172203

But the point is, it's now a lot easier to deploy DirectAccess with Windows Server 2012 because of the following key improvements:

There are lots of other DirectAccess improvements as well, see here for details:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614176891

Have you tried out DirectAccess yet in a test environment or deployed it in your production environment? Why or why not? Send me your feedback at wsn@mtit.com

Other remote access solutions

There are a lot of good third-party remote access solutions out there. Here are some vendors whose products have been recommended by some of my colleagues:

Cisco ASA 5500 Series SSL/IPsec VPN Edition was recently selected the winner in the Firewalls & VPN Hardware Software category of the WindowsNetworking.com Readers' Choice Awards:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614182969

Here's some more info about the Cisco Secure Remote Access Cisco ASA 5500 Series SSL/IPsec VPN Edition:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614188469

The two runners-up for these awards were Juniper Networks NetScreen Series:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614193563

and Avaya's Secure Router 2000 Series:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614198469

Several colleagues have also recommended Check Point Software Technologies, which has a wide range of clientless and client-based remote access solutions that use either SSL or IPsec or both. This page has a good comparison of their range of solutions:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614204063

And finally for something a bit different, AccessAnywhere provides a dedicated remote access VPN platform for small- and mid-sized businesses that they will manage, maintain and support for a low monthly subscription fee:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614209891

Which third-party remote access solution does your organization use? Why? Send me your feedback at wsn@mtit.com

Tip of the Week

While it's usually a good idea when installing a device to use the latest available device driver, in enterprise environments this may not be the best approach. If only a limited number of devices are used and IT pre-stages the drivers for these devices when building their reference image for deployment, then IT may want to prevent the computers from searching Windows Update for a more recent driver when the devices are first connected to the computers. To do this, enable the following Group Policy setting:

Computer Configuration / Policies / Administrative Templates / System / Device Installation / Specify search order for device driver source locations

Then configure the policy to prevent Windows Update from being searched for newer device drivers as follows:

Image

Got tips you'd like to share with other readers? Email me at wsn@mtit.com

Recommended for Learning

A couple of good books from Microsoft Press for those who have to manage projects for their organizations:

Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614218797

Successful Project Management: Applying Best Practices and Real-World Techniques with Microsoft Project:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614223219

You can also get both titles as a bundle:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614227782

And for those just starting out in project management, Microsoft Project 2010 Step by Step walks you through the steps of building a project plan, scheduling tasks, assigning resources, monitoring costs, and more:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614232375

Quote of the Week

"I just can't live with myself if I started twittering. I just think: That way lies madness." --Bruce Willis as quoted on the Internet Movie Database

Here are my three all-time favorite Bruce Willis films:

Die Hard - I watch the first one every Christmas!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614238516

Striking Distance - Just a well-made crime drama movie with good action and some romance too!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614242641

Bonfire of the Vanities - Recaptures the crazy 80s better than any other movie!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614247250

And yes it's a lot different from the book, but so what? I liked the book a lot too!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614251594

MSExchange.org Webinar: Exchange Migration Best Practices and Tips

Many organizations make common, avoidable mistakes when planning and executing a messaging system migration. Part of the preparation process can now include learning important success factors from an expert in MS Exchange 2010 migrations, helping you identify and avoid those pitfalls.

Join J. Peter Bruzzese, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and the cofounder and CIO of ClipTraining on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 1PM ET, 10AM PT to discover tips and recommendations you need to know before undertaking your Exchange migration.

Register here!

In this complimentary 45 minute Webinar, you will learn:

Attend this live MSExchange.org Webinar and ask your top Exchange Migration questions!

Register Now!

Until next week.

Cheers, 
Mitch Tulloch

You can also follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

To backup Hyper-V, try Altaro’s free backup software
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347615244929

SolarWinds trio of free tools helps you manage and remove inactive computers and users from Active Directory, and allows you to add users in bulk. Download your three free tools today!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347615249944

Download a free 30 day trial of KEMP LoadMaster Virtual Load Balancer which lets you distribute network traffic among Windows web and application servers:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614274844

Download a free fully-functional trial of Compass AD Monitoring and Reporting from ENow:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614280157

 

Events Calendar

Americas

Europe

Add your event

Contact Michael Vella at michaelv@techgenix.com to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.

 

Webcast Calendar

MSExchange.org Webinar: Exchange Migration Best Practices and Tips

Many organizations make common, avoidable mistakes when planning and executing a messaging system migration. Part of the preparation process can now include learning important success factors from an expert in MS Exchange 2010 migrations, helping you identify and avoid those pitfalls.

 Join J. Peter Bruzzese, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and the cofounder and CIO of ClipTraining on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 1PM ET, 10AM PT to discover tips and recommendations you need to know before undertaking your Exchange migration.

Register here!

Register for Webcasts

 Add your Webcast

Contact Michael Vella at michaelv@techgenix.com to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.

 

Tech Briefing

What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Remote Access

This new series of articles on WindowsNetworking.com by Deb Shinder introduces the new Remote Access Server Role in Windows Server 2012:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614323501

Deploying Windows 8 with SCCM 2012 SP1 Beta

This step by step article from myITforum.com shows you how to deploy Windows 8 Enterprise x64 using SCCM 2012 SP1 beta:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614329188

VMware Announces VMware Workstation 9

This latest version of VMware Workstation supports Windows 8, USB 3.0, Intel Ivy Bridge, and OpenGL 2.1 on Linux. It also lets you create restrictions on how users can use their virtual machines. Read more here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614333907

How to wreck your Windows network

This article from WindowsNetworking.com describes some practices you may think will increase the security, reliability, manageability and performance of your Windows-based network but which will actually have the opposite effect:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614341095

 

Windows Server News

Reducing risks with multiple cloud service providers

While leveraging multiple cloud service providers can help you reduce the risks associated with data loss, there are some drawbacks to consider. Discover the benefits this cloud strategy can offer and find out whether or not it's right for your business.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614365001

Right-sizing and capacity planning strategies for private clouds

To get the most from your private cloud, it's important to right-size workloads through careful performance monitoring and capacity planning. Learn how to successfully carry out these tasks in this helpful resource.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614370720

Why go with solid-state storage for VDI?

Implementing VDI is proven to deliver significant advantages, but it can also introduce significant storage performance issues. Fortunately, utilizing solid-state storage can help you overcome this common VDI challenge. Find out how in this exclusive tip.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614375126

Comparing and contrasting vCenter Server with vCSA

When it comes to managing vSphere deployments in your enterprise, you have two platform options to consider – vCenter Server and vCenter Server Virtual Appliance. Explore an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of each so you can determine which one is right for your VMware shop.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614379970

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

Microsoft recently announced the launch of the Atari Arcade to showcase what’s possible on the web when you couple a modern browser like IE10 with a modern OS and the power of HTML5. Atari Arcade is an updated take on eight classic Atari games like Pong, Asteroids, Missile Command, and Centipede – all built with HTML5 and multi-player capabilities that come to life with a new Windows 8 touch device and Internet Explorer 10. It also works great in IE9 on a Windows 7 PC, or any other modern browser:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614400861

The two planes collided in the air and were temporarily stuck together. Both landed safely. Nobody was hurt.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614406642

Tech Support the Star Wars way. After all, the empire has its share of end-users needing tech support also. (Any similarities with Earth IT help-desk incidents are purely coincidental.)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614412236

Advanced sailing boat breaks speed record In San Francisco Bay:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614419111

A compilation of pets getting very excited about the arrival of mail.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614423877

Taking the bus has never been cooler than in this funny Danish TV commercial:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614429048

Yellow-billed ducklings in Southern Africa are very fortunate, because their mother is a very clever actress:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614436377

The latest compilation of super-awesome feats by some of the most accomplished athletes on the planet.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614443580

Fifty cities In Michigan sing: "It’s Always A Good Time":
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1347614450064

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free SAN Monitor Allows you to Monitor Dell®, IBM®, & Sun® StorageTek? Storage Arrays

SolarWinds free SAN Monitor tool gives you a-glance insight into storage performance & capacity with a slick desktop dashboard that lets you view top LUNs by size, busiest LUNS, & most under-utilized LUNs. You can also drill down into LUN inventory details including: LUN size, physical disks, RAID type, total IOPs, IO response time and more. Download and try it out for yourself. It?s free.
Download Now.

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.