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MIS Systems Thread, Sims over VPN in Technical; Iíve been testing Sims over VPN and need some advice! I took a clean laptop and installed Sims, everything worked ...
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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Sims over VPN

    Iíve been testing Sims over VPN and need some advice!

    I took a clean laptop and installed Sims, everything worked ok so I took laptop home and connected back to school via VPN. Started Sims and it took 30 minutes to load showing the 'Upgrading Sims Workstation" message and from the look of the VPN network traffic stats it is downloading 170MB of data. I tried this 3 times and it was the same each time.

    Iíve heard Sims is slow over VPN but surely not this slow so Iím guessing thereís something wrong here... any advice?

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    humm good question as i was going to do this for one of our sims admin teacher. as i have turned off all remote access as prev nm left them open...would i be wrong in saying have you upgraded recently or anything. i know the lesson monitor db gets copied but if your just a reg user with no class it shouldnt really be doing much only logging in and loading sims could shed any more light on this

    could this be a routing problem / when are you logging in e.g are you logging when the back ups are running ??

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    IanT's Avatar
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    I setup VPN at my last school and staff wanted SIMS acces remotely..................running SIMS over a VPN I wouldnt remcommend!!!.

    What I did was get the staff VPN in, get them to remote desktop (Terminal Server) to a dedicated box with SIMS on (remote desktop)

    Worked a treat!

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I've used it fine in the past. It depends on the network connection but usually it's ok.
    Starting it up is the slowest part.
    Did you run SIMs at school before you took the laptop home because after a clean install it will need to do an upgrade. If it was trying to upgrade over VPN that really does take ages, you just have to leave your machine for the rest of the day and hope for the best and a stable connection.
    It can just appear as 'Not responding' for a very long time.
    If it is fully updated, then check things like dns etc whilst connected to vpn. i found things worked better if i altered the .ini files to go straight to the ip of the servers rather than use dns names as that can be confusing over vpn for the machine which would take longer.
    EDIT: sorry misread - i take it, it works, just slow. try other things like connecting to share drives etc to test dns / network speed. it shouldn't take 30 mins to load each time. is it a domained laptop, so part of your regular network?
    Last edited by vikpaw; 10th January 2010 at 05:14 AM. Reason: addition

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    Tried this in the past worked fine unless it wanted to do an upgrade which took longer (10mbit/s)

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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies so far

    So just to answer a few questions:

    Laptop was tested and working with all updates done before I took it home.

    No backups were running on the server at the time of the VPN connection and laptop is part of the domain.

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    Works fine over VPN for me - most of the time it's a fairly low-bandwidth app.

    The client upgrade will take a long time though!

    If you want lots of staff to access remotely, then it's probably better to get SLG or one of the equivalent products.

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    It's not so great for reporting over VPN, RDP is probably the best option as above if they do anything fairly data intensive.

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    Should also point out that rdp(with a secure system) would be better than vpn as the data won't be *leaving* the school network as with a VPN it would be albeit secured, but probably better to keep it all in in school imho.

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    stratisphere's Avatar
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    You mention in the original post it was downloading 170mb of data.

    Make sure you do all updates in school, dont want teachers whining about "SIMS.Net is slow" when it's downloading updates over their rather unstable 2mb ADSL.

    We use RDP which works great, though I did try VPN a while back for our school. Didnt think it was too bad, but as kmount mentioned, RDP adds the extra layer of security where only the display data is leaving the school (and encrypted) rather than transmitting the raw SIMS chatter.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    As mentioned, rdp is quicker and more secure, but to continue with your testing, was the laptop doing anything else at the same time? didn't happen to be downloading AV updates or something.

    Is it downloading 170MB each time you use it? Your servers aren't pushing something else down at the same time are they?

    Does it download similar in school? You could try an undomained laptop, just map the drive and see if that makes a difference.

    Did you test DNS?

    Try testing it at another location, possibly in school with a 3g card(?), i used to test vpn connections using the phone line but i wouldn't dare try and run sims that way!
    Last edited by vikpaw; 11th January 2010 at 08:43 AM. Reason: typo

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    Jobos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    As mentioned, rdp is quicker and more secure, but to continue with your testing, was the laptop doing anything else at the same time? didn't happen to be downloading AV updates or something.

    Is it downloading 170MB each time you use it? Your servers aren't pushing something else down at the same time are they?

    Does it download similar in school? You could try an undomained laptop, just map the drive and see if that makes a difference.

    Did you test DNS?

    Try testing it at another location, possibly in school with a 3g card(?), i used to test vpn connections using the phone line but i wouldn't dare try and run sims that way!
    Tried it 3 times and each time it downloaded 170MB of data. All updates were done before I left on Friday and if there was any updates still left to do it would have installed them on the first try.

    Good idea about using an undomained laptop. I will try that tonight.

    Regarding security, I know what you mean but the plan of the VPN is just so the office manager can access sims during the summer holidays.

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    Mcshammer_dj's Avatar
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    try running the pulsar.exe. This will start SIMS .net without calling for a check on any upgrades. If you use SIMSLoad it will check the versions and download any changes

  14. Thanks to Mcshammer_dj from:

    Jobos (11th January 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcshammer_dj View Post
    try running the pulsar.exe. This will start SIMS .net without calling for a check on any upgrades. If you use SIMSLoad it will check the versions and download any changes
    Agreed that greatly helps it.

    I aslo found that using the UNC computer name for the SIMS server wherever possible ( eg editing the local Connect.ini ) helped me. Especially when the userer needed to use NovaT.
    This may have been because were CC3 and the S: drive is mapped at machine level, if your doing it a diferent way that you might be OK with that stage

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCorker View Post
    <-Removed quote as it contained authorised advertising ->
    A provider of a competing product recommending their product over easier and cheaper solutions? Well I never... Why would you not recommend RDP? Works fine for us...
    Last edited by vikpaw; 11th January 2010 at 12:27 PM. Reason: edit disallowed content from quote

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