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 Video Training Course on Pluralsight

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Additional Information

Implementing Microsoft Windows Always On VPN on Pluralsight

Additional Video Training Courses on Pluralsight

Sign Up for a Free Trial at Pluralsight

Inbox Accounting Database Management

The Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) role in Windows Server is a popular VPN server choice for administrators deploying Windows Always On VPN. It is easy to configure, scales well, and is cost-effective. After installing RRAS, administrators can optionally enable inbox accounting to log historical data and generate user access and activity reports as described in Always On VPN RRAS Monitoring and Reporting.

Inbox Accounting Database

A Windows Internal Database (WID) is automatically installed and configured for data storage when inbox accounting is enabled.

WID is nothing more than a basic instance of Microsoft SQL Server. As such, the database will require periodic maintenance to perform optimally.

Inbox Accounting Database Management Scripts

I have created a series of PowerShell scripts to address the inbox accounting database management requirements for organizations using Windows Server RRAS. Scripts are available to perform the following inbox accounting database management tasks.

  • Optimize the inbox accounting database.
  • View the size of the inbox accounting database files.
  • Compress the size of the inbox accounting database.
  • Back up the inbox accounting database to a file on disk.
  • Restore the inbox accounting database from a backup file.
  • Move the inbox accounting database file to a different location.
  • Remove the inbox accounting database.

Optimize Database

A known issue with the inbox accounting database can result in high CPU and memory utilization for very busy RRAS VPN servers. Specifically, a crucial index is missing from one of the tables in the logging database. This issue persists in Windows Server 2022. To correct this issue, download and run the following PowerShell script on each RRAS VPN server in the organization.

Optimize-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

View Database Size

The database can grow rapidly depending on how busy the RRAS server is. Administrators can view the current database file sizes by downloading and running the following PowerShell script on the RRAS server.

Get-InboxAccountingDatabaseSize.ps1

Compress Database

Over time, the database can become fragmented, decreasing performance. Compressing the database can improve performance and result in significant recovery of disk space. To compress the inbox accounting database, download and run the following PowerShell script on each RRAS server in the organization.

Compress-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

In this example, compressing the database reduced its size by more than 8MB, resulting in a nearly 70% reduction in disk space usage.

Backup Database

Administrators may wish to back up the inbox accounting database before purging older records from the inbox accounting database. Also, backing up the database preservers access records when migrating to a new server. To back up the inbox accounting database, download and run the following PowerShell script on each RRAS server in the organization.

Backup-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

Restore Database

Naturally, to restore the inbox accounting database from a previous backup, administrators can download and run the following PowerShell script.

Restore-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

Restoring a database from backup will erase all records in the current database. It does not append. Proceed with caution!

Move Database Files

Inbox accounting database and log files are located in C:\Windows\DirectAccess\Db by default.

However, storing database and log files on the system drive is not ideal. A better alternative is to place the inbox accounting database and log files on a separate disk for optimum performance. To move the inbox accounting database, download and run the following PowerShell script on each VPN server in the organization.

Move-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

Moving inbox accounting files may not be formally supported by Microsoft. Use caution when making this change.

Remove Database

Occasionally an inbox accounting database becomes corrupt and can no longer be managed. If this happens, completely removing the database is required. It is essential to know that simply disabling and re-enabling inbox accounting on the VPN server does not delete the database. To delete the database completely, download and run the following PowerShell script.

Remove-InboxAccountingDatabase.ps1

PowerShell Module

To simplify things, the PowerShell scripts described in this article are available in a PowerShell module that can be installed from the PowerShell gallery using the following command.

Install-Module InboxAccountingDatabaseManagement

Additional Information

Windows Always On VPN RRAS Inbox Accounting Database Management PowerShell Module

Windows Always On VPN RRAS Monitoring and Reporting

Windows Always On VPN PowerShell Scripts on GitHub

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