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Planning a "spread out" networking solution

We have a facility in NC that we would like to network together.  Here are some of the road blocks we are facing.  

1)  Distance.  Some of the "remote" parts of the operation measure about 3 miles from the main office.
2)  No line of sight.  Dense forests fill the void between locations.
3)  Cost.  The network has to be reliable, but extremely cost effective.  I don't have a budgeted amount set in stone, so I cannot give that as a consideration, at this point.

Any ideas of how we can overcome this distance/no line of sight issue?  Thanks for the help.
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dharvell
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dharvell
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Yan_westCommented:
Hmm, bring an Internet connection in all of your offices, and install VPN tunnels between each location. That is how I would do it...... Depending on how reliable your connection need to be, the price you'll pay for the access can vary greatly.. From Normal DSL line, up to a FULL T1 with a Uptime agreement.

How to do this? Buy 3 PIX firewall, and connect them all to the central location using a permanent VPN tunnel. Depending on the size of the offices, you can chose a PIX 501, 506, 515, 525, 535..
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/vpndevc/ps2030/
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dharvellAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the feedback, Yan.  The firewall we would be using is the SonicWall TZ170 (as that is standard for our company).  The TZ170 does have VPN capability.  To expand on your idea, would it be possible to have VPN tunnels back to the main NC office and then, in turn, have a VPN tunnle from the main NC office to the headquarters office in MI?  That's our ultimate goal.
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Yan_westCommented:
I don't know really know anything about sonicwall products.. But I know that with a PIX, you could create multiple tunnel, between any location you want. Here, we have 20 remote office connected to Us, and some of these offices connect to each other..
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dharvellAuthor Commented:
I'll consult my SonicWall expert and see if he knows if this is possible, or not.  We have an IS Dept who H A T E S change... including switching products. :)  If it is not possible with a SonicWall, then my arguement for the PIX will be that it will save us nearly $1500 per month, by getting rid of the point-to-point circuit we currently have from NC to MI.  That'll raise a response... Thanks again.
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Yan_westCommented:
If you can configure multiple tunnel on your sonicwall, then you will be able to do it without any problem..
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PennGwynCommented:
SOME firewall/VPN products have had issues with trying to route traffic that comes in from one tunnel, back out through another.  Don't know about your particular make/model, but it seems to me that a proxy at the central NC site would be enough to get around that issue IF it surfaces.

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Yan_westCommented:
SonicWall TZ170

Site-to-Site VPN Policies
2 with 10 node TZ 170
10 with 25 node TZ 170
10 with Unrestricted node TZ 170
3DES and AES Performance: 30+ Mbps
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dharvellAuthor Commented:
Thanks, PennGwyn.  I'll keep that in mind.
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dharvellAuthor Commented:
Yan... I JUST saw that on the sonicwall web site.  We have the unrestricted node license...
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Yan_westCommented:
It means each device can have up to 10 tunnels.... Ok in your situation I guess..   What kind of traffic is going to go through this?  I would check it... Will this firewall accept the kind of load you are going to give it?
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dharvellAuthor Commented:
Yan... it should.  The big portion of the traffic will be pure text - no graphics, documents, etc.  Off hours, we'll probably do virus definition pushes, and file backups.  Nobody will be on the system when the backups and definition pushes are being done.
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Yan_westCommented:
You should be ok then ;)
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