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VPN Setup

Many of the resources available through the Odyssey cluster must be accessed through VPN (virtual private network - a sort of tunnel into the Harvard network) to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. When working outside the Harvard network, VPN protection is a must. This page describes the process for installing software and connecting to the RC VPN.

After installing the client software (see below), connect to the RC VPN using the correct address:

vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu

The FAS VPN address looks very similar (vpn.fas.harvard.edu), but will not grant you access to RC resources

Requirements

  • You will need a Research Computing (or "RC") account to connect to the VPN. Request an account with the Account Request tool. IMPORTANT: When connecting to the VPN you will use your username + @ + a VPN realm name. See instructions below.
  • Once you have an RC account, the same two-factor authentication that is used when logging in to the Odyssey system itself is incorporated into the VPN connection. Therefore, before you can access the VPN, you'll need to install the OpenAuth tool.

Linux users, please see our alternate guide to using OpenConnect for VPN.

VPN Software Installation and Usage

Windows

The Windows client can be installed from our VPN portal: https://vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu
The automatic installation will likely fail, but you should then be offered an option to download an installer.
After downloading the software, click on the executable to run the AnyConnect installation wizard.

AnyConnect Windows installation wizard

AnyConnect Windows installation wizard

Connecting:
Once the client is installed, double click on the icon to get the connection dialog. Enter vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu into the connection box and click on "Connect". You will be prompted for 3 values:

AnyConnect connection dialog with two-factor authentication

AnyConnect connection dialog with two-factor authentication

Username@Realm
Username is the RC account username assigned by the Account Request tool. It is not your Harvard ID and is distinct from your laptop login. The Realm will generally be odyssey. There are other possible realms for specialized use by certain groups such as ncf, but the majority of users will use @odyssey  
Examples: johnharvard@odyssey or for NCF users johnharvard@ncf
Password
This is the password that you've established with the Account Request tool upon receiving your RC account. If you cannot recall this, you can reset it here. It is not your Harvard PIN.
Verification code
This is the value displayed in the OpenAuth tool.

Mac

Automatically:
The Mac client can be installed from our VPN portal: https://vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu

Manually:
If automatic installation fails, you should be offered an option to download an installer.
After downloading the software, click on the downloaded image to run the AnyConnect installation wizard.

AnyConnect VPN disk image

AnyConnect VPN disk image

And start the installer by clicking on the package.

AnyConnect installer

AnyConnect installer

Connecting:
When installation has completed, there should be a new icon in Applications under a Cisco folder. Enter vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu into the connection box and click on "Connect". You will be prompted for 3 values:

AnyConnect connection dialog for Macs

AnyConnect connection dialog for Macs

Username@Realm
Username is the RC account username assigned by the Account Request tool. It is not your Harvard ID and is distinct from your laptop login. The Realm will generally be odyssey. There are other possible realms for specialized use by certain groups such as ncf, but the majority of users will use @odyssey  
Examples: johnharvard@odyssey or for NCF users johnharvard@ncf
Password
This is the password that you've established with the Account Request tool upon receiving your RC account. If you cannot recall this, you can reset it here. This is not your Harvard PIN or Key.
Verification code
This is the value displayed in the OpenAuth tool.

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