VPN Connections in Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012

Virtual Private Network Connections in Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012

Microsoft provides new solutions for virtual private network (VPN) connections in both Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. You can access corporate data, company intranets, or secure networks quickly and securely.

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 uses BranchCache and DirectAccess to provide and improve VPNs.

BrancheCache caches content from file and web servers on a wide area network (WAN) locally at your office. It copies the data from your intranet and file server and stores it locally. Whenever anyone tries to access any of the data from your intranet or file servers, the data comes from the branch office cache and not servers across the WAN. This leads to a reduction of WAN bandwidth because the data is only retrieved when someone requests it.
BrancheCache increases the speed of access to encrypted content. It doesn’t require any additional equipment. Everything is easily managed using Group Policy. You’ll feel as though you are always connected directly to your central office.

DirectAccess connects users to their corporate network anywhere there is Internet access. It provides a secure and flexible network infrastructure. Unlike traditionally VPN connections, DirectAccess establishes a bi-directional connection from your computer to your corporate network. You can use all of your company’s resources: email, servers, shared folders, and intranet web sites. 
DirectAccess is built on Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and Internet Protocol Security. It integrates with Domain Isolation, Network Access Protection, and BitLocker solutions in Microsoft Server 2008 R2. DirectAccess reestablishes a VPN connection for you whenever you have Internet access. 

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 has made great improvements with DirectAccess, but the new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has changed what VPNs can accomplish.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
VDI connects mobile devices and workplaces. Through Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services, it offers 3 deployment methods: Pooled Desktops, Personal Desktops, and Remote Desktop Service. With VDI, you can access corporate data on any device virtually anywhere. You can disconnect from your current workstation and reconnect at another site. You also have the option to use lower-cost storage, like direct attach storage, instead of relying of expensive storage area networks.

VDI is deployed and managed from a unified, central console on Windows Server 2012. Its new improvements include WAN optimizations, enhanced graphic processing, improved security, and media streaming. VDI also has dynamic allocation of CPU so network and disk I/O are balanced. One user will not affect or impact another else on the same server.

DirectAccess Improvements
DirectAccess provides secure access to corporate data from any Internet connection, and Windows Server 2012 offers new improvements in this useful tool. The new DirectAccess greatly reduces infrastructure requirements so you can use it without IPv6. It now automatically establishes a bi-directional connection. 

The new DirectAccess has simplified deployment and configuration. You can now control everything with Server Manager and PowerShell.  

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