In a perfect environment, all of the computers on a network have all of the most recent patches applied, have their firewalls configured and their anti-virus software up to date. In the real world however, even the best-managed networks have some computers that have fallen through the cracks.

They may be portable computers that are used by sales staff that are away from the office for weeks or they may be desktop computers that sit unused for months and have missed out on many recent patches and anti-virus updates. Network Access Protection, a new feature in Windows Longhorn Server, provides a way of ensuring that only clients that have dotted their I's and crossed their T's are able to connect to the organization's network.

This article will look at how Network Access Protection policies are configured and will provide a summary of how they are used to keep clients that connect to the network in an appropriate state of health.