The goal of a mobile VPN connection is to allow users to connect to network resources as if they were connected locally. With a local network connection, NetBIOS traffic on the network allows you to use the device name to connect to your devices. It is not necessary to know the IP address of each network device. However, Mobile VPN tunnels cannot pass broadcast traffic. Because NetBIOS relies on broadcast traffic to operate correctly, you must use an alternate method for name resolution.
You must choose one of these two methods for name resolution:
WINS/DNS (Windows Internet Name Service/Domain Name System)
A WINS server keeps a database of NetBIOS name resolution for the local network. DNS uses a similar method. If your domain uses only Active Directory, you must use DNS for name resolution.
An LMHOSTS file is a manually created file that you install on all computers with Mobile VPN with SSL. The file contains a list of resource names and their associated IP addresses.
Because of the limited administration requirements and current information it provides, WINS/DNS is the preferred solution for name resolution through a Mobile VPN tunnel. The WINS server constantly listens to the local network and updates its information. If the IP address of a resource changes, or a new resource is added, you do not have to change any settings on the SSL client. When the client tries to get access to a resource by name, a request is sent to the WINS/DNS servers and the most current information is given.
If you do not already have a WINS server, the LMHOSTS file is a fast way to provide name resolution to Mobile VPN with SSL clients. Unfortunately, it is a static file and you must edit it manually any time there is a change. Also, the resource name/IP address pairs in the LMHOSTS file are applied to all network connections, not only the Mobile VPN with SSL connection.
Each network is unique in terms of the resources available and the skills of the administrators. The best resource use to help you learn how to configure a WINS server is the documentation for your server, such as the Microsoft web site. When you configure your WINS or DNS server, note that:
The next time an SSL client computer authenticates to the XTM device, the new settings are applied to the connection.
When you use an LMHOSTS file to get name resolution for your Mobile VPN clients, no changes to the XTM device or the Mobile VPN client software are necessary. Basic instructions to help you create an LMHOSTS file are included in the subsequent section.
About Mobile VPN with SSL
Install and Connect the Mobile VPN with SSL Client