Using VirtualBox for VPN access

Like many other companies nowadays, a significant number of Sun employees operate off the corporate LAN or outside the corporate firewall. But occasionally these employees need to get at applications and data inside the firewall or, as we say at Sun, on SWAN (Sun Wide Area Network). One way of doing this is to use a VPN client such as the Cisco VPN Client with strong 2 factor authentication (tokencard).

But what if the Cisco client is not available or doesn't work on your PC. e.g. you may have Vista 64-bit, so what do you do then?

Some smart individuals in Sun do the following:

  1. Download  and install VirtualBox.
  2. Install a guest which can run the Cisco client, e.g. Windows XP 32-bit.
  3. Install the Sun IT provided VPN client for this platform.
  4. When you need SWAN access, start or resume the guest and run the VPN client.

So in this way you can run an on-SWAN and off-SWAN session at the same time.

In the screenshot below (click on it for bigger version) you can see:

  • Windows XP guest that is on SWAN showing an internal web page;
  • Mac Host that is not on SWAN showing that it cannot reach that internal page;
  • The configuration of the Windows XP guest in VirtualBox.

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Hope this is useful to someone out there

-FB


Comments:

The Cisco VPN used to work fine in Virtualbox up until this latest release, version 2.1.2. After that it fails to connect with both UDP and TCP connections. This is with NAT for networking, since many people are on networks that won't give a computer multiple IP addresses.

Posted by Josh Hill on February 08, 2009 at 10:46 PM GMT #

I'm glad someone else sees the same thing, i thought it was me. VPN was woking fine then i updated to 2.1.4 VirtualBox. Now VPN connect dialog comes up then magically disappears before you can even type there. Is there a fix anywhere?

Posted by philb on March 06, 2009 at 09:10 PM GMT #

please contact me if you still experiencing some problems with VPN and Virtualbox/NAT [ vasily dot levchenko at Sun dot COM]

Posted by vasily Levchenko on April 04, 2009 at 09:51 AM BST #

Where on the Sun website do I find this "Sun IT provided VPN client". I've gone to the Downloads section at sun.com, but can't find it. And will this VPN client work if I am connecting to any VPN host?

Posted by Ross Waldron on January 14, 2010 at 03:01 PM GMT #

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