Secure Mobile Access 12.4 Administration Guide

Default, Visible, and Hidden Realms

To authenticate a user, the appliance must know which realm the user belongs to. If only one realm is enabled, the appliance automatically uses it. However, if multiple realms are enabled, the appliance needs to know which one to use.

When users log in, they typically select the appropriate realm from a list. You can make the choice easier for them by defining a default realm in AMC (see Specifying the Default Realm for more information). If a default realm is defined, the realm selection field is automatically populated with that realm. The specific behavior of each access method is outlined in this section.

SonicWall strongly recommends that you specify a default realm.

You can also choose which realm names are visible to users. If a realm is hidden, the user must know its name and manually type it during login. For example, you could create realms for various suppliers. If you’d prefer that they not know about one another, you could configure the realm names to be hidden. Each supplier then has to type the realm name when logging in to the appliance.

For the typical user login experience for various realm configurations, see below table.

Typical user login experience for various realm configurations
Realms enabledDefault realm configured?Hidden realms configured?User’s login experience
OneN/AN/AUser does not need to select a realm during the login process. Access methods automatically use the one enabled realm for authentication.
MultipleYesNoneUser selects a realm from the list. The Realm field is initially populated with the default realm.
MultipleNoNoneUser selects a realm from the list. The Realm field is initially populated with the first realm (sorted alphabetically).
MultipleYesYesUser selects a realm from the list. The Realm field is initially populated with the default realm. If login requires a hidden realm, user selects Other and then types the realm name in a second field.

When users first access Secure Mobile Access WorkPlace, they are presented with one or more login pages. If only one realm is enabled, they see only the page requesting their user credentials. If multiple realms are enabled, they see a login page on which they select the appropriate realm from a drop-down menu. The default realm selected on the User Access > Realms page is displayed as the preselected realm in the drop-down menu. If there are one or more hidden realms, the login page prompts the user to type in the realm name.

Up to 200 realms can be defined for users to choose from. As an alternative, to avoid manual selection, WorkPlace sites can be set up with a unique realm configured for each WorkPlace site. The default number of Workplace sites is 200, but there is no limit.

After clicking Next, users authenticating with user name and password are presented with the page for entering credentials.

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