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1 Introduction

This document describes the Microsoft Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), a mechanism to transport data-link layer (L2) frames on a Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Sockets Layer (HTTPS) connection. The protocol currently supports only the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) link layer (for more information, see [RFC1661]).

This protocol has two main deployment modes:

  • The SSTP server directly accepts the HTTPS connection.

    In this scenario, the SSTP server accepts the HTTPS connection, which is similar to a virtual private network (VPN) server positioned on the edge of a network. The Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificate is deployed on the SSTP server.

  • The SSTP server is positioned behind an SSL/TLS load balancer.

    In this scenario, the SSTP server is positioned behind an SSL/TLS load balancer that terminates the SSL/TLS connections (and therefore, the SSL/TLS certificate is installed) and forwards the decrypted HTTP traffic to the SSTP server. There is an implicit relationship of trust between the load balancer (or trusted man-in-the-middle) and the SSTP server.

Sections 1.8, 2, and 3 of this specification are normative and can contain the terms MAY, SHOULD, MUST, MUST NOT, and SHOULD NOT as defined in RFC 2119. Sections 1.5 and 1.9 are also normative but cannot contain those terms. All other sections and examples in this specification are informative.

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