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Microsoft uses Linux to power new VPN solution for mobile devices

VPN on a Windows laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft has announced the public preview of an alternative to Windows VPN that helps extend the protections of the corporate security policy to mobile devices.

Dubbed Microsoft Tunnel Gateway, the new solution is offered as part of Microsoft’s Intune cloud-based mobile device management solution, and will help iOS and Android devices access on-premises resources. 

Interestingly, the new Tunnel Gateway is provided as a Docker container that Microsoft suggests you run on top of any of the supported Linux hosts.

Down the rabbit hole

Microsoft explains it decided to take the container route for the new solution to make it easier to maintain. As the name suggests, Tunnel Gateway is designed as a gateway solution for Microsoft Intune, much like any other policy-driven VPN that allows you to lock down access to devices that comply with your security policies.

The Tunnel Gateway runs inside a Docker container that’s running on top of a Linux server that can be a physical one or a virtual one on-premise or in the cloud. 

Currently Tunnel Gateway supports only four Linux hosts including specific versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS as well as Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04. 

Microsoft also suggests CPU and memory sizes based on the number of connections you expect to manage. For instance, you can support upto a thousand devices on a server with any quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM and 30GB of disk space.

Once the server is up and running, you can download the Microsoft Tunnel app on your Android and iOS devices from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, respectively.

Via: TechRepublic