Are you planning to attend Microsoft TechEd this year? If so, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be delivering a session entitled “The Future Is Now! Next Generation Remote Access Today with Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess”. I’ll be presenting at both TechEd North America in New Orleans, LA, and at TechEd Europe in Madrid, Spain. Looking forward to seeing you there!
It’s that time again. TechDays San Francisco 2013 is fast approaching! The event will be held on May 2-3, 2013. This is an excellent event for IT professionals and developers alike to learn from some of the best and brightest. The speaker list includes industry experts Richard Campbell, Jeff Hicks, Laura Hunter, Mark Minasi, and more! I will be delivering a session on (you guessed it!) DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012. Registration is open now, so register today. Hope to see you there!
Recently I announced the availability of my Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess video training course at TrainSignal. Click here to read the full story!
Since Microsoft formally announced the end of life for the venerable Forefront TMG 2010 firewall, the most common question I hear is “What should I replace my Forefront TMG firewall with?” It’s an excellent question, and one that I can’t really answer for you definitively. Since Microsoft has elected to leave this space entirely, you’ll obviously be replacing it with a solution from another vendor. But which one? Well, the answer is “it depends”. There are many excellent firewalls, web proxies, and secure web gateways on the market today. So-called “Next Generation Firewalls” are gaining in popularity as well, and provide some interesting capabilities a security administrator can leverage to provide increased protection for their corporate networks. Which one to choose depends on many factors, and will vary greatly depending on your deployment scenario. My suggestion when evaluating potential replacements for your Forefront TMG 2010 firewall is to take a look at your current configuration, review your corporate security policy to determine network security requirements, then begin researching products that include the features you need. If you take a look at the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Secure Web Gateways or Next Generation Firewalls and choose a product in the leaders or challengers quadrants you will probably be satisfied. Regardless which solution you choose, demand a proof-of-concept or insist on an evaluation period with which you can return the product for a full refund if it doesn’t meet your needs or expectations. Be open-minded during the process, as you’re not likely to have the comfort level with the new solution as you do with your existing Forefront TMG 2010 firewall. If you are using your Forefront TMG 2010 firewall as a dedicated remote access solution, I would encourage you to look closely at Windows Server 2012 remote access VPN and especially DirectAccess.
Keep in mind that although Microsoft has announced the end of life for Forefront TMG 2010, it will still be supported for many years to come. You will have full feature functionality until the end of 2015, and the product will be supported in some fashion until early 2020 so there’s no need to rush. Perhaps the best replacement for Forefront TMG 2010 hasn’t even been created yet! If you have questions about Forefront TMG 2010 replacements, or you are in the process of evaluating another solution to replace your existing Forefront TMG firewall today, feel free to ask questions or share your experiences by commenting below. Thanks!
For anyone interested in news and information about Microsoft DirectAccess, I have started another blog at directaccess.richardhicks.com. With this blog I’ll be writing about DirectAccess in Windows Server 2008 R2, Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 DirectAccess, and DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012. In addition, I’ll be touching on topics related to VPN and remote access in general, IPv6, and core networking. DirectAccess is the way of the future for managed client remote access, so I would encourage you to follow my blog and stay up to date with this wonderful technology. Of course I’ll still continue to write about edge security and Forefront TMG 2010 here, don’t worry!
TechDays San Francisco 2012, sponsored by the Pacific IT Professionals user group, is a two day IT professional conference being held on March 23 and 24, 2012. The event features a lineup of speakers that includes Chris Avis, CA Callahan, Jennelle Crothers, Jessica DeVita, Steve Evans, Jason C. Helmick, Chris Henley, Ed Horley, Darren Mar-Elia, Mark Minasi, Stephen Rose, Joey Snow, Doug Spindler, Mark Vinkour, Harold Wong, and Chris Zwergel. Sessions will cover topics such as Azure and cloud, Clustering, DNS/DHCP/IPAM, Exchange, Hyper-V, IIS, Lync, MDOP, networking and VPN, Powershell, SharePoint, System Center, VDI, Windows 8 Client and Server, and Windows Phone 7. I will be presenting sessions on Forefront Edge Security (Forefront TMG 2010 and UAG 2010) as well as DirectAccess. Visit the TechDaysSF web site for the full speaker lineup and session abstracts, then click here to register for the event. Hope to see you there!