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 1.5, 1.8, 1.9, 2, and 3 of this specification are normative. All other sections and examples in this specification are informative.