F5 Access for Your Chromebook

Posted in security, f5, big-ip, ssl vpn, cloud, silva, application delivery, mobile, devcentral by psilva on October 12th, 2016

My 5th grader has a Chromebook for school. She loves it and it allows her access to school applications and educational tools where she can complete her assignments and check her grades. But if 5th grade is a tiny dot in your rear-view and you’re looking to deploy Chromebooks in the enterprise, BIG-IP v12 can secure and encrypt ChromeOS device access to enterprise networks and applications. With network access, Chromebook users can run applications such as RDP, SSH, Citrix, VMware View, and other enterprise applications on their Chrome OS devices.

From an employee’s perspective, it is very easy to get the SSLVPN configured. Log on to a Chromebook, open Chrome Web Store, search for ‘F5 Access’ and press the +ADD TO CHROME button. Add app when the dialogue box pops and F5 Access will appear in your ‘All Apps’ window.

f5_access.jpg

Next, when launched, you’ll need to accept the license agreement and then add a server from the Configuration tab:

add_server.jpg 

Next, give it a unique name, enter the BIG-IP APM server URL and optionally add your username and password. Your password will not be cached unless that’s allowed by the APM Access Policy. You can also select a client certificate if required. Once configured, it’ll appear in the list. You can also have multiple server configurations if needed:

added_server.jpg 

To connect, click the bottom tray bar and select the tile that says, ‘VPN Disconnected.’

f5access_tile.jpg

And select the server configured when setting up the app. Depending on the configuration, you’ll either get the native login window or the WebTop version:

f5access_login.jpg 

Once connected, there won’t be any indication in the tray but if you click it, you’ll see the connection status in the same VPN area as above and it’ll show ‘connected’ within the F5 Access app:

f5access_connected.jpg 

As you can see in the above image, you can also check Statistics and Diagnostics if those are of interest. To end the connection, click the tray again, select the VPN tile and click Disconnect.

For administrators, it’s as simple as adding a ‘ChromeOS’ branch off the ClientOS VPE action:

f5access_clientos.jpg

Then add a Connectivity Profile to BIG-IP:

f5access_connectivity_profile.jpg 

In addition to generic session variables, client session variables are also available. Check out the release notes and BIG-IP Access Policy Manager and F5 Access for Chrome OS v1.0.0 manual for more info.

ps

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