Editor’s Note: To read part one of this series, click here.
By Nicholas Greene
Microsoft does have its own mobile solution, which integrates swimmingly with DirectAccess. Trouble is, in the world of enterprise…the Windows 7 Phone is a small fry- holding only around 6% of the market. The top dogs are: Android, Apple and Research In Motion, and Android. Yet DirectAccess doesn’t offer support for any of them.
With this in mind, the lack of support for non-Windows mobile devices seems a rather obvious crack in DA’s armor. This, perhaps more than anything else, is what marks DirectAccess as unfeasible when compared to a standard VPN setup. It’s simply foolish to assume that every single employee will be using the same mobile device, and even more-so to think that said device will run Windows.
While a traditional solution might be a little more complex than DirectAccess, it’s also considerably more flexible in its implementation. Take NCP Engineering’s suite of solutions, for example- users can connect from virtually any device, regardless of operating system. What’s more, their Secure Entry Client supports both IPv4 and IPv6.
It’s also worth considering the idea that, as IPv6 becomes more prevalent, traditional VPNs themselves might evolve to adapt to the new features. The reason many of our remote computing solutions have the potential to cause such headaches for IT lies in IPv4’s own disadvantages and failings. Since it’s currently the dominant protocol suite, it needs to be accommodated- regardless of how painful that accommodation might be for the end user.
There’s a fairly distinct possibility that, by the time IPv6 is common enough for DirectAccess to be a completely viable remote networking solution, other VPN providers may well have produced something similar. If Microsoft hasn’t expanded DA’s compatibility by then, it could well be those providers who put a nail in DirectAccess’s coffin- and not the other way around.