Always On VPN RRAS Internal Interface Non-Operational

Windows 10 Always On VPN Routing Configuration

Always On VPN administrators troubleshooting connectivity issues may find the Internal network interface in the Routing and Remote Access management console (rrasmgmt.msc) administrative status indicates ‘Unknown’. They will also notice the Operational Status shows Non-operational.

Internal Interface

For clarification, the ‘Internal’ network interface in the Routing and Remote Access management console, as shown above, is not a physical network adapter on the server. Instead, it is a virtual network interface used only for incoming VPN connections.

Non-Operational

The Internal virtual network interface will not be created until the VPN server accepts its first VPN connection. Because of this, the Internal interface will have an operational status of non-operational until the first client attempts to connect. When this occurs, RRAS creates the interface, then assigns it the first IP address from the static IPv4 address pool. Alternatively, if DHCP is configured, it will assign the first IP address returned by the DHCP server.

Interface Names

While discussing network interfaces, I typically recommend renaming them in Windows to identify their function, especially when using two NIC configurations. However, be careful not to name the server’s internal network adapter ‘Internal’, as this can be confusing in the future. In my example above, I use the name ‘LAN’ to identify the internal adapter to distinguish it from the server’s ‘Internal’ virtual interface.

Additional Information

Windows Server RRAS Service Does Not Start

Windows Server RRAS Monitoring and Reporting

Microsoft Always On VPN and RRAS in Azure

Microsoft Always On VPN and RRAS with Signle NIC

Always On VPN and Windows Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS)

Windows 10 Always On VPN hands-on training classes now forming. Details here.

Always On VPN and Windows Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS)

As I’ve written about in the past, Windows 10 Always On VPN has many advantages over DirectAccess. One of the most important features is that Always On VPN is completely infrastructure independent. Always On VPN is implemented entirely on the client side, so there is no reliance on Windows infrastructure servers at all. In theory, you could deploy an Always On VPN solution using an entirely third-party backend infrastructure. This is crucial because many organizations already have security infrastructure in place today. However, there are still some compelling reasons to choose Windows Server 2016 as the VPN server to support Windows 10 Always On VPN.

Considerations for Windows Server

Windows Server 2016 includes a very capable VPN server in the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) role. Using Windows Server 2016 RRAS will meet the requirements for many deployment scenarios. RRAS also provides some unique advantages too. The following are some important considerations for choosing RRAS for VPN.

Easy to Deploy

The RRAS role in included in all Windows server network operating systems and can be enabled easily using the GUI or PowerShell. RRAS is mature and well-documented, making installation and configuration simpler. In fact, all of the Microsoft Windows 10 Always On VPN documentation guidance references RRAS.

Reduced Costs

No investment in proprietary hardware is required, because RRAS runs on Windows Server 2016 and can be deployed on existing virtual infrastructure. Deploying additional RRAS virtual machines enables quick and efficient scaling up of the solution without the need to deploy additional expensive hardware. Importantly, RRAS requires no additional per-client or per-device licensing. In addition, RRAS can be managed using existing Windows administration skill sets and does not require dedicated, and often expensive solution-specific expertise.

Modern Protocol Support

RRAS includes support for modern VPN protocols such as Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) and Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP). IKEv2 is the protocol of choice or most deployments, and is required for supporting the device tunnel. SSTP is a firewall-friendly protocol that ensures remote Windows clients can connect from anywhere. Layer Two Tunneling Protocol over IPsec (L2TP/IPsec) and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) are also supported for legacy client compatibility.

Summary

Although Windows 10 Always On VPN can be implemented using third-party VPN servers, it’s important not to overlook Windows server either. Windows Server 2016 RRAS has some important advantages over third-party infrastructure. RRAS is mature and well understood, with an abundance of published documentation available. Leveraging RRAS eliminates the need for costly proprietary hardware and client licensing, while at the same time reducing administrative overhead and streamlining support. RRAS also includes native support for modern VPN protocols, ensuring reliable client connectivity from any location.

Additional Resources

3 Important Advantages of Windows 10 Always On VPN over DirectAccess 

Windows 10 Always On VPN and the Future of DirectAccess 

5 Things DirectAccess Administrators Should Know About Always On VPN 

 

 

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