The ability to bring low-cost solutions with high functionality is priority one for most SOHOs. Untangle offers Active Directory authentication for the remote portal at an incredible price.
In last week's network blog, I mentioned the Untangle appliance for gateway connectivity. One feature that can really take the open source tools to the next level is their ability to plug in to something like Active Directory for authentication and remote access policies. This feature, called the Active Directory (AD) Connector, really empowers the small office to bring some granular manageability into the Internet gateway without a large investment. The AD Connector is priced very reasonably at $15 monthly for up to 50 users. The full chart of pricing options in tiers per user volume is outlined on the Untangle Web site. With the AD Connector enabled, a gateway is configured to pull the users from the AD domain and populate them in the local user store. Figure A shows usernames retrieved from the RWVDEV.INTRA domain: Figure A From within the Untangle appliance, the remote portal configuration allows specified Web URL shortcuts, file path shortcuts, and remote desktop connection links to devices on the internal network. The portal can be configured for all users or customized for particular users relevant to their security context. Figure B shows a Web portal configured for one user: Figure B
Once you are logged in to the portal, the selected shortcuts can be launched from the client's browser using their AD credentials. Within the portal, it is important to note that the sessions will not be a native application. For example, the Remote Desktop session is actually a ProperJavaRDP open source Java client. Regardless, the functionality in the portal is robust and quite intuitive to configure. For the Windows administrator out there, the users are pulled from all organizational units within the Active Directory domain, but Untangle can connect only one domain per appliance.
More information can be found about the AD Connector online at the Untangle wiki site.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.