MSU SSL VPN service to be upgraded, site consolidated

On Thursday, May 30, IT Services will upgrade MSU SSL VPN services with patches to improve functionality by refreshing the hardware and operating system versions.

At that time, all the IT Services run-VPN services will also be consolidated on one site at vpn.msu.edu.

Benefits of virtual private networks

Using an MSU virtual private network (VPN) when accessing a wireless connection ensures a computer is given a secure path and it will appear to have an IP address local to the MSU campus network.

Maintaining a secure Internet connection is especially important for sensitive data. A VPN may also be needed to access certain MSU resources off campus.

The IT Services-run SSL VPN service is available at no charge to regular faculty, full-time staff, retirees, trustees, and graduate students, who can log in to vpn.msu.edu using their NetID credentials.

This service is also available for purchase ($10 setup fee, plus $7 per month recurring fee billed to departmental account) for on-call employees and student employees.

Upgrade details

After the upgrade, anyone using the SSL VPN service – regardless of the operating system used (Windows, Mac, or Linux) – will be prompted to download and install new client software in the form of a Java applet. The installation will require Administrator privileges.

If you do not have Administrator rights, please contact your system administrator or IT staff person for help with this installation.

More information is available in an online article. If you need additional assistance, call the IT Services Support Desk at (517) 432-6200 or fill out the online form.

Site consolidation

Also on May 30, SSL VPN connections for vpn.msu.edu and access.ais.msu.edu will be consolidated at vpn.msu.edu. (See below for how the site will look on May 30.)

MSU SSL VPN login site

The SSL VPN login site will offer multiple VPN Realms from a dropdown menu. On May 30, users will be able to sign in using their NetID or CampusAD credentials.

IT staff information

In the past, some network administrators had difficulty with upgrades to imaged machines, or assisting users who don’t have Administrator privileges because their upgrade work could not begin until the server was upgraded.

Upon request, IT Services can offer early access to the new SSL VPN client code to IT staff. There are two separate installer files for 32-bit Windows systems and for 64-bit Windows systems.

IT staff should call the IT Services Support Desk at (517) 432-6200 if they would like the standalone 32-bit or 64-bit Windows installer file emailed to them. Please specify which version you need.

The two SSL VPN versions can coexist without any issues. The SSL VPN server determines which client version to launch, so if you upgrade a computer now, users can still operate the production SSL VPN service with the previous version.

For Apple devices, there is a free JunosPulse applet available at the App Store that will enable similar connectivity for apple devices such as iPod and iPads.