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How do you do....it? Thread, School Remote Access - How do you do it? in Technical; Hi Guys, I am starting to look at allowing remote access for certain users. Just wondering if there are any ...
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    School Remote Access - How do you do it?

    Hi Guys,

    I am starting to look at allowing remote access for certain users. Just wondering if there are any free or cheap ways of doing it? We are on Server 2003 for our cc4 network. We do have server 2008 on our VLE server.

    I've seen people mentioning VPN's and terminal services but not sure what advantages/disadvantages each gives.

    Any help would be great thanks.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We use a Sonicwall SLL VPN appliance. The user goes to a web interface and logs in. They then see links to home area, shared area, intranet and the Terminal Servers.

    The good think about terminal servers is that it can give the user the exact same experience as they would have in school. They get all the apps etc. Well worth doing to be honest.

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    tj2419 (30th January 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    We use a Sonicwall SLL VPN appliance. The user goes to a web interface and logs in. They then see links to home area, shared area, intranet and the Terminal Servers.

    The good think about terminal servers is that it can give the user the exact same experience as they would have in school. They get all the apps etc. Well worth doing to be honest.
    So with your setup the users are able to open network applications like SIMS, office or photoshop?
    How much did this cost to setup?
    Do you know how many connections you roughly have + size of your school?

    Sorry for all the questions this is a steep learning curve for me
    Thanks

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    So with your setup the users are able to open network applications like SIMS, office or photoshop?
    Yes, exactly. But you might find photoshop struggling over the internet.

    i no longer work at the school but the data is still good.

    The SSL VPN, licenses for 100 concurrent users & support for 3 years cost 1,500 pounds (sorry no pound key on this keyboard). I can have 100 users use the box at anyone time, when they log off that license is freed up for someone else to use.

    Then there is the cost of your Terminal Server if you want one. You can use the SSL VPN for file sharing and accessing internal webpage as well as terminal servers so you might not need one.

    Here is a demo of the product. https://sslvpn.demo.sonicwall.com/cgi-bin/welcome - By the way you can get rid of all that junk you see after you login
    Last edited by FN-GM; 30th January 2012 at 11:15 PM.

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    For remoting in via RDP to my home system, I use SSH port forwading. Each authenticated user gets given an SSH key on a USB stick along with a copy of PuTTY and a small program I wrote to automatically open the SSH connection and start Remote Desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    How much did this cost to setup?
    SSH itself costs nothing, you can also look at something like OpenVPN. How the various software you use is licensed for use over Terminal Services from offsite is between you and the vendor of each peice of software - for instance, each client machine will need to be licensed for Microsoft Office if the user on that machine wishes to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    For remoting in via RDP to my home system, I use SSH port forwading. Each authenticated user gets given an SSH key on a USB stick along with a copy of PuTTY and a small program I wrote to automatically open the SSH connection and start Remote Desktop



    SSH itself costs nothing, you can also look at something like OpenVPN. How the various software you use is licensed for use over Terminal Services from offsite is between you and the vendor of each peice of software - for instance, each client machine will need to be licensed for Microsoft Office if the user on that machine wishes to use it.
    Would this licensing be different than say if I had an ees licensing agreement it wouldn't cover the external machine if it connected?

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    EES (or EVS-OS) does not cover you for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) by default so I have been advised.

    You need to purchase RDS User CALS.

    There are 2 options for Staff. If you purchase the same amount of RDS CALS as your FTE Count, then that will cover all Staff/Pupils RDS usage within the school, and Staff only externally. You can alternatively purchase RDS CALS for the staff if you require less than your FTE Count, but these cost a bit more and only cover Staff within school and externally (no students).

    There are different RDS User CALs for Students for External use, and these to need to be purchased for every Student requiring external access.

    This is what I have been advised after enquiring about EES/OVS-ES licensing from various suppliers.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    If it's only for certain staff users - e.g. a couple of members of SMT - I've just used LogMeIn on a handful of computers to allow remote access to Facility. Works well enough and is free. Obviously a pain to scale up but is a handy tool for a few people.

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    Another Sonicwall SSL VPN user here. They go to the web page to install the first time, after that they just launch the client on their machine and they are connected in and have access to their drives etc...

    At the moment, all teaching staff have laptops so we don't have a terminal server solution. However, we're also looking at moving to a desktop for teacher solution, with a small pool of laptops. If we do this, a terminal server is likely going to be put in for things like SIMS.net etc...

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    Our LA block logmein. Teamviewer works but isn't really stable enough for large numbers of access just for the technicians to login.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tj2419 View Post
    Would this licensing be different than say if I had an ees licensing agreement it wouldn't cover the external machine if it connected?
    The best people to ask are probably going to be your software supplier - your Microsoft reseller should be able to go through all the various licensing options with you. You could look at an external connector license, which seems to be available at a good price for schools. Bear in mind that after sorting licensing for Windows, RDS and MS Office you'll still have to check licensing for any other software you use.

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    does sonic wall connect to the server and run like a virtual session and then same docs into their mapped areas, or does it need to connect straight into their machine at work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnykewell1 View Post
    does sonic wall connect to the server and run like a virtual session and then same docs into their mapped areas, or does it need to connect straight into their machine at work?
    Sonicwall SSL VPNs work by providing a secure tunnel between the connecting computer and the network at school. So, it is as if the computer is locally connected to the network. It doesn't provide any virtual sessions etc... It can be set to run a script on login though, to map drives etc... should you want it to.

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    would HAP+ and adding a link to eportal to it... help?

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