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Remote access for each user on the network

Posted on 2004-09-07
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I currently am supporting a network with 35+ users on a Windows 2000 Server DC.  This particular network is also running Exchange 2003.  My client has requested that I set up remote access priveledges for ALL users on the network.  There is a "Public" drive that is mapped to each users workstation in the office, and this is the primary location that needs to be accessed remotely for all users.

I have looked at Terminal Services, but I am not sure how I would (or IF I could) configure this for each user.  I have also looked at utilities such as "GoToMyPC.com", which seems to be useful, but I still am leary.

I am also curious if I can some how integrate the "Public" drive into their OWA so that they can access this drive remotely through the use of OWA.

There is also the issue of laptop users who take their workstaions home with them each night, and would not have a physical system on the network to log on to.  That is unless I used the file server, which is something I am trying to stay away from at this point.

Basically I am fishing for some suggestions that will provide my client with the best possible solution available - Keeping cost and security in mind all of the way.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Jeremy
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Question by:nsdhouston
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Expert Comment

by:jonnietexas
ID: 12003303
If you need remote control then terminal services, pcanywhere, etc.  If they need file access the VPN is the way to go.  Look at IPSec, FreeS/WAN or perhaps the capability is built into your router.
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by:Tim Holman
ID: 12004841
Firstly, what exactly do you want remote users to be able to access, and from where ?
If it's just email, then setup OWA.
If you want file sharing too, then IPSEC VPNs.
If you want to share the complete desktop in Terminal Server fashion, then look at clientless / SSL VPNs, and yes it IS possible for multiple users to log onto Terminal Server, as long as that server has access to their user profiles.
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Author Comment

by:nsdhouston
ID: 12013145
The users will need access to a general "Public" drive that is located on the PDC.  The client has asked that the users see things just as they would if they were sitting at their desk in the office.  This leads me to believe that Terminal Services might be the best option.

If so, would I need to pay close attention to the hardware I use to implement this configuration?  Should I suggest a dedicated server for Remote Access, or could I use the PDC that is currently in place.  I am sure that cost will be an issue here, and I a looking for an affordable solution, as well as effective.

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Expert Comment

by:emilbus20
ID: 12020073
Hi this may be the answer you are looking for.
http://www.enkoo.com/
Its pretty neat and simple as well as cost effective over go to my pc or pc anywhere on all those computeres. Check out the site and the demos.  They offer I 30 day free trial. Im still waiting on my boss to get back from vacay so I can order it. Seems very simple. Let me know what you think. THanks
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Accepted Solution

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Tim Holman earned 2000 total points
ID: 12021806
DEDICATED server is a must.  From a security architecture point of view, you should never share core functionality (eg PDC) with Internet-accessible devices.

What you describe - Terminal Services is pretty easy to set up.

From a basic level, look at setting up Microsoft RRAS, and then installing a Terminal Services client on each remote user, so that whereever they are, they can dial- or vpn- into your network and use Terminal Services.

This has quite a high admin overhead, but for 35 users, maybe it's not so bad ?

You can step this up by looking at Citrix services and N-Fuse.  Citrix sits on top of TS and N-Fuse web enables it, so Citrix sessions are delivered via Java to remote PCs.  

Alternatives are Neoteris, Whale, Tarantella, Netilla and so forth.  

But, as soon as you shift from the basic IPSEC VPN / Terminal Services model, you'd be looking at adding $2-3,000 for licensing/equipment purchase.

You can test drive Netilla at http://www.sagasolutions.com/netillademo.aspx.  This was the first hit google brought up - I have no idea who they are and how credible they are, but there are plenty more online SSL demos available if you take a look for them.

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