Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17


Best way to connect a remote office -- Frame, ATM, DSL-VPN ---Citrix, PC's????

Posted on 2006-06-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I've been asked to help set-up (in my spare time...yeah right!) a growing small business that is adding a remote office. At the present time most of what they do is on shared Excel spreadsheets (turning more into applications every day, and I'm not real fond of shared spreadsheets). I'm trying to nudge them towards developing a database. So with this in mind the remote office will have ~12 PC's and will need access to the corporate database, Exchange server, and probably a few other shared files, maybe an intranet page in the future, which will probably lead to some web apps. I need a secure and reliable connection. The office I work in has a T-1 Frame Relay with a CIR of 1024Mbps and cost ~$2000/month. A hard sell when users have 8Mbps cable modems. I'm able to connect to our office from home over my cable modem and VPN, but the VPN can be connected for days at a time, or disconnect every 5 minutes, which wouldn't be acceptable. The local cable company sells "business class" broadband (probably the same thing just more expensive) but wondered if anyone had experience with that type of cable or DSL service and a VPN connection. I'm not a database person but wonder if there is a solution that would allow a local copy of the database that replicates changes with the main dataset?
Another problem would be connecting to the corporate Exchange server. Seems Outlook likes to hog bandwidth and a server at the remote office isn't really an option for 12 people.
I'm leaning toward a Citrix option and 256k frame. The bosses want to tightly integrate the offices and be lean and fast. Seems Citrix offers a lot less admin work, less chance of virus/spyware/adware, and no PC's to fix!
What advantages does Citrix offer over Windows Terminal Serices for an office of 12 or so? And I've seen Citrix desktop, published apps, inFuse...what would be the best option there?
Would you recommend a dedicated thin-client box over running the Citrix client on a PC? I've seen boxes for $500 that would seem to offer all a PC does, USB, sound, etc. No CD-ROM or floppy, which is great. I thought maybe one PC for the manager (play CD/DVD if needed for training, presentations, etc., store files related to just that office that could be remotely backed up at night).
Any thoughts, ideas, things I'm missing?? What are your experiences? Mine are that users don't like Citrix terminals, but then you get them a PC and they don't like the CRT, etc, etc.
Question by:kcbergmo
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Accepted Solution

centrepc earned 2000 total points
ID: 16951110
In my opiniion citrix over a frame is the way to go.  This will allow you to have real-time access to all of your apps,  including exchange, docs, and any new databases from anywhere not just the new remote office.  I would go with 512k instead of 256k for 12 users but it is easy for me to spend other peoples money

The most effecient way to connect the office maybe a channelized T1.  Use up to 12 channels for voice and then the other 12 channels could be used for data or you can split this up in any way you need.  

Try and stay away from broadband if possible.  Broadband even though it has a lot of bandwidth it drops a lot of packets which citrix doesn't like.  You are much better off with lower but very clean bandwidth.  Business class broadband is just more expensive broadband.  It still doesn't offer the service level that a frame or T1 can offer.

For remote offices terminals are nice because you do have a lot less maintenance and the network is much more secure but if the connection goes down they will be looking at a blank screen.

If you go with thin clients you may want to have 2 or 3 pc's for people to use as backup.

Published apps are more secure than a full desktop but if you have the permissions set properly on the server one can be as secure as the other.  Published apps are better for pc's since they already have a desktop.  Published apps in my opinion are hard to switch back and forth on a thin client.  When I use thin clients I normally give the customer a full desktop but just lock it down with group policy.  

Terminal services uses more bandwidth than citrix although with 2003 server it isn't as bad.  Citrix with 12 users is a must over terminal services.  Managing apps, printers and users will be much easier with citrix.  You will be glad you spent the extra money on the citrix.  

Hopefully this has helped with most of your questions...


Featured Post

Enroll in September's Course of the Month

This month’s featured course covers 16 hours of training in installation, management, and deployment of VMware vSphere virtualization environments. It's free for Premium Members, Team Accounts, and Qualified Experts!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

#Citrix #XenDesktop #POC #Proof-of-concept
#Citrix #Citrix Policies #XenDesktop #VDI #POC #Citrix Univeral Printer Driver #Citrix UPD
This demo shows you how to set up the containerized NetScaler CPX with NetScaler Management and Analytics System in a non-routable Mesos/Marathon environment for use with Micro-Services applications.
If you’ve ever visited a web page and noticed a cool font that you really liked the look of, but couldn’t figure out which font it was so that you could use it for your own work, then this video is for you! In this Micro Tutorial, you'll learn yo…

722 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question