A Thorough Look at Routing and Remote Access

A whole book on RRAS? Absolutely.

I know what you’re thinking: “A whole book on Routing and Remote Access?” That’s what I thought too—until I started prepping for exam 70-216, Network Infrastructure. RRAS in Windows 2000 is one of the areas most changed in the transition from Windows NT 4.0. If you’re planning on upgrading your MCSE you’d better know it, and this book will help.

The book breaks down RRAS into three broad categories:

  • Installation and Configuration
  • Advanced Administration
  • RRAS Planning

All aspects of Routing and Remote Access are covered. The book has step-by-step directions, plenty of screen shots, and a relaxed approach to a complex topic. Most chapters wrap up with reference materials (although the bulk of the reference material is from TechNet and RFCs).

The author starts the book off the way all tech books should begin—by getting to work. The first chapter isn’t a sales pitch, but an overview of RRAS and why we need it. Immediately, the author gets down to business with a quick discussion on RAS.

Chapter 2 attacks the Remote Access Service. It examines all protocols, the architecture of RAS and security. Each topic is neatly introduced and defined; you’re then given the necessary steps of how to make the feature work within RAS.

Chapter 3 flows logically from the discussion on RAS as the book introduces the client side of RAS: Dial-Up Networking. The chapter is quick, painless and to the point.

If you’re not familiar with TCP/IP, Chapter 4 may be a tough read; it covers routing protocols in depth. The author pays homage to the Windows NT 4.0 routing abilities, but doesn’t dwell there. The book guides the reader through the different flavors of routing, the associated protocols and the nuances of each. This you’ll need for your exam—oh, and the real world, too! Oddly enough, NAT, DHCP relay agents and IPX are lumped into this chapter along with demand-dial routing.

Now that you’ve learned the mechanics of RRAS, Chapter 5 walks you through configuring your Win2K router, with the exception of NAT: NAT gets its own chapter.

Chapter 6 details routing tools that ship with Win2K. This helps answer questions for automation that may pop up throughout the previous chapters. This chapter is an excellent resource as each switch for commands, like Netsh, mrinfo and pathping, are explained in detail.

Chapters 7 and 8 detail Virtual Private Networks and Connection 8. These two chapters work together to create a VPN and then how to manage the users who are allowed to use the connection. Chapter 8’s material relates to DUN clients as well.

If you’re like most techs, you’re not working in an ISP and haven’t been around RADIUS. Not to worry—Chapter 9 introduces the Internet Authentication Service and how (and why) it works with RADIUS. The author walks you through the network architecture of IAS and the flow of information when users dial in. After understanding the foundation of IAS, you’ll learn to install and configure the service.

Chapters 10, 11, and 12 comprise RRAS planning. Chapter 10 tackles bandwidth issues and how to monitor usage. Chapter 11 is the promised chapter on NAT, and Chapter 12 wraps things up with network design. The book also includes a refresher appendix on Win2K security, including IPSec and policies. The second appendix is a troubleshooting guide.

Overall, this is an excellent book if your position requires you to create and maintain RRAS servers as an integral part of your job. If you’re studying for one of the toughest exams, Exam 70-216, this book (although not written specifically as a study guide) will certainly help. Add this book to your library. Read it. Know RRAS.

About the Author

Joseph Phillips, MCSE, MCT, CTT enjoys Windows 2000, Windows NT, and old-fashioned subnetting. Joseph serves as a consultant and trainer. He is an author of several books covering topics ranging from Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure, Windows 2000 Security, and the A+ Certification Exam.

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