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Wireless Networks Thread, Network Suggestion in Technical; Hello All, I have a couple of issues that were brought up in a meeting in my company. We have ...
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    Network Suggestion

    Hello All,

    I have a couple of issues that were brought up in a meeting in my company. We have a server primarily working as a file server for local users. The issue is that there is a second company which is under the same branch. The problem is that the employees are located through out South America and Asia. There is no central location for these users. So far all their data and information is on their local pc and not really backed up. I was thinking that we can use our second server, which is not being used right now, to back up those users information. I was thinking that with a SonicWall 210 they can VPN into the server and thus backup their items. Please let me know if my thinking is correct or if there is a better solution. Your opinion would be real helpful.

    Thanks

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    It's a good idea, pleased you mentioned the VPN over something like FTP! How much bandwidth do you have available to make this happen? Also, if its a second company, make sure the paperwork is all signed off and agreed for you to be storing their information.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    The VPN method relies on reasonable bandwidth links between the sites, you could probably use the offline files feature in Windows Vista or 7 to sync them easily. This feature exists in XP but is quite primitave in comparison and is much slower and less reliable than the the later versions.

    As for the link method you don't need extra hardware as Windows Server from 2000 up can serve VPN tunnels using RRAS, Windows Server 2008 even offers SSL VPNs.

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    Thanks for the response. We currently have a T1 for the iphones and a business DSL for the internet. I wanted to use one of the server for the VPN while the other for the local. I am not sure if it would be best to share the T1 or the DSL. Also, most of the users in South America are not using Windows 7 or Vista. The majority are using Windows XP. I had read of a program called OpenVPN where a person used it to back up his remote pc. I want it to be done with the least user interaction. Im thinking of giving that program a try.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    OpenVPN is just another VPN solution, if you use the built in MS one there is not need for extra software. You would be better using the faster of your links, probably the DSL. The actual file sync can be handled by lots of different bits of software and it depends on how much data you are talking about as to which is the best solution. If it is not too much XP's offline files will do fine as it will do it automatically when it can.

    There is also microsoft synctoy that can be setup to do it when the user tells it too, both of these are free and there are other options avalible too which I am sure someone else will post about shortly.

    If there is lots of data and users then you will need to take into account data traffic if you have a data cap and also the avalible speed of the internet at both the user side and the server side. If the users have a dial up link or a linited DSL line with 128kb upstream then 100mb of files will take ages to sync initially but will be much quicker to check and update once done.

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    I have good results with Draytek routers for dial-in VPN users and with SyncBack from 2brightsparks to sync folders. There is a freeware version of SyncBack you could try. I have had numerous problems using offline files in XP.

    Hope this helps.

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    I will certainly give those suggestion a try. Now I have been urging the company to get a hardware firewall but was never really taken into account. After many days of working on it I was able to start up their dead SonicWall TZ 170. It is up and running fine now. I know that SonicWall itself overs VPN, does anybody have any comments or suggestion on that? Would it be a safer option to use the SonicWall for the VPN? One more thing. Do you guys know if through VPN a user can work on QuickBooks locally on her laptop and just update the changes in the server? I am asking because I have a coworker who detests having to log in remotely to her pc to use her QuickBooks due tio the lag. I'm not sure if there is a way around this but I was thinking of a local Quickbooks with just the file being update on the remote server.
    Last edited by leon032; 22nd January 2010 at 05:31 PM.

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    I don't know enough about hardware versus software VPN solutions to advise you there. However in my limited experience I've always gone for a hardware solution and had no cause to regret the decision.

    As for QuickBooks, again I don't know the specifics but how would the current remote desktop lag compare to the speed of accessing the data files across a slow VPN connection? Also if the VPN connection drops is there the potential for corrupt data files? If the remote desktop solution you currently use involves a third party server you might find that a direct remote desktop connection over the VPN reduces the lag.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks timg.

    It is probably not worth the hassle. I have had issue with QuickBooks data being corrupted by lost of connectivity. It certainly was not fun and I think it is best to avoid a solution that will have that risk.

    Thanks again

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