I’m excited to announce my latest video training course, Planning and Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016, is now available on Pluralsight! In this course, I’ll provide a high-level overview of DirectAccess, compare it with VPN, and outline supporting infrastructure requirements. In addition, you’ll learn how to choose the best network topology for a DirectAccess deployment, how to prepare Active Directory and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for DirectAccess, and how to install and configure DirectAccess in Windows Server 2016 using the latest implementation and security best practices. You’ll also learn how to provision Windows 10 clients and understand the unique requirements for supporting Windows 7.
The course includes the following training modules:
Overview of DirectAccess
Planning for DirectAccess
Configuring DirectAccess with the Getting Started Wizard
Configuring DirectAccess with the Remote Access Setup Wizard
Provisioning DirectAccess Clients
Supporting Windows 7 Clients
Throughout the course, I share valuable knowledge and insight gained from more than 5 years of experience deploying DirectAccess for some of the largest organizations in the world. Pluralsight offers a free trial subscription if you don’t already have one, so watch my DirectAccess video training course today!
Planning and Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016 on Pluralsight
Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on April 17, 2017
I’m really excited to announce that I have once again been invited to speak at the upcoming TechMentor event in Redmond, WA August 7-11, 2017! This year I’ll be presenting two important deep-dive training sessions on DirectAccess. The first is a three-hour course on implementing DirectAccess using Windows Server 2016. This session will cover infrastructure prerequisites as well as tips, tricks, and best practices for implementing DirectAccess using Windows Server 2016. In addition I will also be delivering a three-hour deep dive on DirectAccess troubleshooting. In this session, I’ll share valuable insight, tools, and techniques for quickly identifying and resolving many common DirectAccess connectivity and performance issues. In addition I will also be giving a short talk on getting started with Azure site-to-site networking. If you want to take advantage of the power and flexibility that the Azure public cloud has to offer, extending your on-premises datacenter using site-to-site VPN is essential.
Register today using code TMSPK05 and save!
M01: Implementing DirectAccess with Windows Server 2016
T03: DirectAccess Troubleshooting Deep Dive
T07: Getting Started with Azure Site-to-Site Networking
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on March 30, 2017
I am pleased to announce that I’ll be participating in the upcoming TechMentor conference in Orlando, FL in December. The TechMentor conference is part of the larger Live!360 event and offers a compelling agenda of training for IT professionals. I’ll be delivering the following sessions that are focused on providing secure remote access using Windows Server 2016.
TMT01 – Implementing DirectAccess in Windows Server 2016
TMT04 – DirectAccess Troubleshooting Deep Dive
TMT11 – Client-based VPN in Azure with Windows Server 2016
Don’t miss out on this outstanding conference. Register today and save $500.00!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on October 25, 2016
I’m pleased to announce that I will be delivering a community theater session at this year’s Microsoft ignite conference in Atlanta, GA. The session, THR2136 in the session catalog, is scheduled for Thursday, September 29 at 12:40PM. This is a level 200 talk where I’ll be providing a high-level overview of all remote access technologies in Windows Server 2016, including DirectAccess, client-based VPN, and Web Application Proxy (WAP). I’ll be focusing on what’s new in each of these technologies and demonstrating how each solution applies in different use cases.
In addition to the session, I’ll be spending time with the folks from PointSharp and Pluralsight in their respective booths too, answering questions and providing demonstrations. I hope to have copies of my new DirectAccess book to sign as well. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for up-do-date details. Hope to see you at the conference!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on August 29, 2016
DirectAccess uses IPv6 exclusively for communication between the DirectAccess client and server. The DNS64 and NAT64 services running on the DirectAccess server allow the client to connect to IPv4-only resources on the corporate network. Although no IPv6 knowledge is necessary to implement DirectAccess, it is most certainly required to support it going forward. A fundamental understanding of IPv6 is vital when it comes to troubleshooting DirectAccess connectivity issues, so learning IPv6 is critically important for the DirectAccess administrator.
To help you learn more about IPv6, here are three essential resources I think you will find helpful!
Understanding IPv6 (Joe Davies) – This is an excellent reference for the IPv6 protocol and should be on every DirectAccess administrator’s desk. This book provides detailed documentation and explanations for the IPv6 protocol including IPv6 transition protocols, which are commonly used with DirectAccess.
Practical IPv6 for Windows Administrators (Ed Horley) – Another essential title for learning IPv6. This book focuses on the use of IPv6 for a variety of popular Windows workloads, including DirectAccess.
IPv6 Address Planning (Tom Coffeen) – This book is an optional read for DirectAccess administrators, but a recommended one still. There is no IPv6 address planning required to implement DirectAccess, as most commonly IPv6 addressing happens automatically. However, this book will help you understand IPv6 subnetting, which can be helpful for fully understanding DirectAccess.
If you prefer video training, be sure to check out this great course on Pluralsight from Ed Horley. Don’t be afraid of IPv6. Embrace it! Start learning IPv6 today!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on January 28, 2016
Looking for in-depth DirectAccess technical training? Join me at the TechMentor Conference March 7 to 11, 2016 at the Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. There I will be delivering a three-hour deep-dive DirectAccess training session covering installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of DirectAccess on Windows Server 2012 R2. The conference also features many other excellent training sessions by industry experts like Don Jones, Greg Shields, Jeff Hicks, Ed Horley, and many more. Register now and save!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on December 8, 2015
I’m very excited to announce that my latest video training course is now available on Pluralsight! Recently I had the opportunity record a “Play-by-Play” session entitled Secure Remote Access with Windows Server 2012 R2. In this course I cover all aspects of the Unified Remote Access role in Windows Server 2012 R2 including DirectAccess, client-based remote access VPN, site-to-site VPN, and the Web Application Proxy (WAP). This training course differs from some of the other DirectAccess video training content I’ve developed in the past. This course is much less formal, and takes a casual, conversational approach to delivering the content. Many scenarios are presented and discussed, and of course there is plenty of practical demonstration as well. I think you’ll really like this unique format.
Pluralsight video training is available as a monthly subscription. If you don’t already have a Pluralsight account, you can sign up immediately and get a 10-day free trial. In addition to viewing my new course, be sure to browse their amazing video training course catalog. The amount and quality of content they have is astounding. You’ll find my DirectAccess with Windows Server 2012 R2 course there, along with many others. I’m confident you’ll find the service a tremendous value. Get started now!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on October 12, 2015
With the recent release of Microsoft’s Windows 10 client operating system, many organizations are now planning their migration to Windows 10 from previous versions. For those organizations looking to maximize their investment in Windows 10, many are considering the deployment of DirectAccess with Windows Server 2012 R2.
DirectAccess and Windows 10 are much better together. Windows 10 includes full support for all of the important enterprise features of DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012 R2, including geographic redundancy, transparent site selection, and IP-HTTPS performance improvements. The Kemp LoadMaster load balancer can be used to extend and enhance the native high availability features of DirectAccess, and it can be used to reduce supporting infrastructure requirements.
To learn more about maximizing your investment in Windows 10 with DirectAccess and the Kemp LoadMaster load balancer, be sure to attend our upcoming webinar on Thursday, October 15 when I’ll discuss in detail and demonstrate the advantages of Windows 10 and the Kemp LoadMaster load balancer.
You can register for the Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess and Kemp Technologies LoadMaster webinar here.
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on October 5, 2015
For the last five years I’ve been helping organizations large and small deploy DirectAccess. During that time I have amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience with this unique technology. DirectAccess is not trivial to install, configure, or troubleshoot. Also, it’s easy to make mistakes in the planning and design phase that can turn in to serious issues later in the deployment. To make matters worse, many organizations are deploying DirectAccess for the first time, and without essential guidance they are prone to making common mistakes or choosing configuration options that are less than optimal both in terms of supportability and performance.
Having deployed DirectAccess for some of the largest companies in the world, there isn’t much I haven’t already encountered. If you are looking for the best chance of success for your DirectAccess deployment, consider a consulting engagement with me. I can provide assistance with all facets of DirectAccess implementation including planning and design, installation, configuration, and troubleshooting. Consulting services at reasonable rates are available for all types of DirectAccess work including:
- New DirectAccess installations
- Migration from previous versions of DirectAccess
- Upgrade or expansion of existing DirectAccess deployment
- Enterprise planning and design for large-scale, multisite DirectAccess deployments
- DirectAccess high availability (local and geographic)
- Manage-out for DirectAccess with external hardware load balancers and/or multisite configuration
- Multisite DirectAccess with geographic redundancy for Windows 7 clients
- Existing DirectAccess design review and security assessment
- Windows Server 2012 R2 client-based VPN configuration
- DirectAccess client connectivity troubleshooting
- DirectAccess training
Additionally, consulting services are available for a variety of security solutions as well as on-premises and cloud networking technologies such as:
- Azure networking and infrastructure
- Cross-premises connectivity to Azure
- Certificate services (PKI)
- IP address management
- ISA Server and Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) migration
All services can be performed on-site or remotely. If you are interested in obtaining my services, fill out the form below and I’ll contact you.
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on July 20, 2015
I’m excited to announce that I’ll once again be participating in this year’s TechMentor conference in Redmond, WA! The event takes place August 3-7, 2015 and will be held on the Microsoft campus in building 33. This is a great event at an incredible venue! I’ll be delivering a 3 hour Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess deep drive technical training session on Thursday, August 6. The conference covers a wide range of topics from many noted industry experts like Don Jones, Greg Shields, Jeff Hicks, Orin Thomas, and many more. Don’t miss out. Register today and use priority code TMRSK05 to save $500!
Posted by Richard M. Hicks on February 11, 2015