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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS at Home in Technical; Hi How do I get staff members to use SIMS at home ?...
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    Grommit's Avatar
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    SIMS at Home

    Hi

    How do I get staff members to use SIMS at home ?

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    Ask them nicely?

    Or, if you mean technically, you could consider Terminal Services, or a VPN.

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    Vegas's Avatar
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    We've been using Terminal Services for SIMS access for the last 3 years with no problems.

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    Terminal services via vpn, or learning gateway (maybe wait till its had a couple of version revisions.....)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    As my boss has an aversion to VPNs for some reason, we will be going down the Learning Gateway route soon, when our LEA re-launches it next term. But personally, I'd think VPN connections for their laptops would be easier and more functional.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    they would, but people peeing around with config or their own firewalls/routers could cause issues.

    at least with learning gateway they just need web access. And it does look like it'll work well.

    You may want to brush up on sharepoint (as thats what its based on) and also evaluate what you want to use it for, as not everything works through it (yet)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    As said before VPN or Terminal Services. VPN will be the cheaper option but Terminal services will be better. Users wont be doing sims updates over the internet for one plus there are less things to break.

    Z

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Cant really elaberate anymore to be honest... Learning gateway option would be the best option i think if you have allot of less technically minded people as they might not want to mess around with there firewalls etc at home.. but VPN would be the cheapest option.

    James.

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    Taking the bigger picture into account I'd recommend you went for Learning Gateway. The government expect schools to provide access to parents for online reporting by 2010 (Secondary) 2012 (Primary). LG will provide this and some.

    Might be worth asking if your LA is considering purchasing it and hosting it on behalf of schools. If they are it will save you a considerable amount of money and time.

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester View Post
    As said before VPN or Terminal Services. VPN will be the cheaper option but Terminal services will be better. Users wont be doing sims updates over the internet for one plus there are less things to break.

    Z
    OK looks like a VPN it is then..

    What the difference between a VPN and Remote Desktop ?

    And how to I stop users Remoting onto the ISA server.. is there a way to redirect to another internal Box ?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    OK looks like a VPN it is then..

    What the difference between a VPN and Remote Desktop ?

    And how to I stop users Remoting onto the ISA server.. is there a way to redirect to another internal Box ?
    A VPN is just an encrypted tunnel that gives you an ip address that your system considers internal. If you have a VPN connection set up through ISA 2004 or 2006 you can easily isolate the VPN clients using simple rules that will only allow it access to certain hosts or networks.

    In this case your SIMS software would be installed at home like it is on your internal client workstations. This software talks to the SIMS server just like an internal client it just needs to go through the VPN tunnel to be able to talk with your internal SIMS server.

    RDP is simply a way of remote controlling a desktop session on a remote computer, you could do this directly over the internet (insecure) or connect to the machine in question through a VPN which makes it much more secure.

    The issue with VPNs is routing and firewalls. Your schools ip configuration for VPN clients must not overlap with their local ip configuration on their home router. For instance if the users home router uses 192.168.1.0 and so does the VPN routing will fail and the VPN connection will not work. Some home routers do not support VPN passthrough at all and some cannot handle multiple simultanious VPN connections. If the home user has a device that cannot handle it or an ip configuration that overlapps the user must replace the router or reconfigure it respectivly.

    With the VPN route SIMS would need to be installed locally on each home users computer, meaning (I think - I havn't used sims) that their computers would need at least windows 2000 and can't run linux or be a Mac.

    The Web based route is much more simple for the end user as none of these issues come up (depending on how platform agnostic the web components or RDP client are).

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Installed SIMS via VPN last night - took a few hors!
    Couldn't logon though - Logon error 0 or something?
    Think I forgot to open a port on my VPN - possibly SQL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    Installed SIMS via VPN last night - took a few hors!
    Couldn't logon though - Logon error 0 or something?
    Think I forgot to open a port on my VPN - possibly SQL?
    Had the same problem

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    I'd doubt its a port issue as the vpn handles all of the traffic regardless of destination port.

    Could you ping the server name both hostname and hostname.domainname?

    I'll try it on mine tonight, been a while since I ran sims over vpn.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    I'd doubt its a port issue as the vpn handles all of the traffic regardless of destination port.

    Could you ping the server name both hostname and hostname.domainname?

    I'll try it on mine tonight, been a while since I ran sims over vpn.
    That's not strictly true. VPN's don't just carry all traffic, as most are set up with firewall restrictions in place by default, so you have to add exceptions to let things through.

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