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Question about setting up a firewall and accessing some documents

Posted on 2005-03-30
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Hello all.  We are trying to devise a plan for hosting a Web site in-house.  We have found a server we want to use and now we are going through the topology of setting up the firewall area.  We want to keep this apart from our internal network but here is an issue we have.  Currently we have an internal system that pulls up Word documents that exist on a network drive within the internal network.  Somehow we need to be able to pull these out to the Web site where users will be able to click on a image and pull up a word document.  However, we want this to be real time but I guess I would consider other options.  Any ideas all?
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Question by:sbornstein2
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simonenticott earned 100 total points
ID: 13670973
Hi,

a couple of options spring to my mind-

if you want to keep the webserver away from the internal network you'll need to put it on a DMZ / optional port on your firewall which i guess you've done already.  Ultimately you don't want a path from the webserver to your internal network.

The first option would be to move your networked documents area to the webserver and setup a one way rule on the firewall to allow your internal network to access the webserver but not the other way around.  This assumes your documents area is a simple share and you can move it wholesale and just reshare it from the webserver and change the login scripts to map to the new area.  It should be invisible to your users.

A second and better, option would be to run a file copy / syncronise utility that copies any updated files over to the webserver every x minutes.  if you're careful when choosing a copy utility it'll only copy the updated files and this will minimise network traffic and enable you to run it quite frequesntly, say every few minutes or so which gets you to near realtime.

The second option is gonig to be safer for two reasons that come to mind, 1, if your webserver is breached all your documents become available and thats your 'master' copy of them.  Secondly, if one of your guys were working on a live document and someone on the web tried to open it, its conceivable that you'd end up with problems saving it or with possible corruption, though thats largely down to your web configuration.

Hope that helps or gives you some ideas,

Simon.
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