If you’ve been here before, you’ve seen various posts on Direct Access…If you haven’t been, shame on you (however for your convenience, here are the stories):

BMW and Windows 7 – Two Top Performers

Direct Access and Schools

Direct Access – Step-By-Step

Windows 7 – Direct Access & Schools

OK, now that we’ve cleared that up, what’s this post about?  Well, I came across an article the other day on Network World entitled “Microsoft DirectAccess: The ugly truth” and I wanted to take a minute and look at the article and think about IT in general and ask is Direct Access really that ugly to setup or has IT over the years made administrators and journalists lives easier by becoming too GUI and Wizard driven?

Direct Access, as we all know, requires Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.  No brainer.  We also know it requires IP v6. Another no brainer.  We all know Cisco equipment requires extensive knowledge of the CLI, however we don’t call it ugly to set up do we?  Back in the early days of NT (when Novell was king – wow that was a while ago), NDS required CLI and we didn’t call that ugly did we?  No, that is what made the difference between the IT Professional and the junior on staff.  Today however, Active Directory, Exchange, all of the tools that most IT administrators use, they’re all GUI and Wizard driven and you needn’t know the idiosyncracies and ins and outs of them.  Simply point and click, therefore we all associate ease of IT administration with the tools, whereas really we just know what we’re doing and these enablers make it that bit easier to use/implement.

With Direct Access we now find ourselves in the same situation, however we’re blaming technology for what it’s actually given us.  Direct Access isn’t that hard to set up if you know what you’re doing and it’s not ugly to set up either…No more so than VoIP and that requires just as many components as Direct Access…The key critical factor is you have to have the Direct Access knowledge – similar to setting up public folders in Exchange 2007 prior to SP1 – you had to use command lines and know what you were doing 🙂

I’m not knocking the article in any way, I’m just saying that maybe the spin it was written with was wrong as Direct Access isn’t really five years early, nor is it a forklift upgrade and in all actuality, the smaller networks are the ones better suited towards this as there is less to go wrong when setting it up.

If anyone is confused about it, I know a good consultant named Justin Rodino who would be more than happy to assist with any implementation 🙂

Happy Direct Accessing – the easy way 🙂