Watch out when you enable DNS Scavenging and have a DirectAccess environment

So we had recently enabled DNS scavenging for a large environment who also had a DirectAccess server. The next day we were getting help desk calls about remote users not able to connect and those who were in the office unable to use their devices. One of the cornerstones of DirectAccess is DNS and the Network Location Awareness this provides to the clients. We had to re-create the DNS records for DirectAccess manually on one of their DNS server.

  • directaccess-corpConnectivityHost which includes both A and AAAA records when deployed on IPv4-only networks. Basically the Loopback addresses for both IPv4 and IPv6.
  • directaccess-WebProbeHost this includes only A records and resolves to the IPv4 address assigned to the internal network interface of the DirectAccess server.
  • directaccess-NLS should point to the server hosting the Network Location Service, which should be Highly available.

So when building your DirectAccess infrastructure, always remember to set the DNS entries as Static.

Extracting Reporting data from your DirectAccess Server to CSV using PowerShell

I recently had to extract some data from our DirectAccess server to get information about a particular user and their number of connections during a time period along with data transferred. The Remote Access Management Console allows you to view these details but not extract or save them. So I turned to PowerShell and used the following snippet to extract what I needed.

Get-RemoteAccessConnectionStatistics –StartDateTime "1 April 2017 12:00" –EndDateTime "8 April 2017 12:00" | Export-Csv –Path "C:\Temp\DAConnections.csv"

I then cleaned the data up in Excel to give me only the user I was after along with date and times and amount of data transferred. You can also use Get-RemoteAccessConnectionStatisticsSummary and Get-RemoteAccessUserActivity which further drill down into what a particular user has been up to while connected to DirectAccess.