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Networking 2 sites - Frame relay with DSL and ISDN?

Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I want to network a main site with a second site. The second site has only a few pcs and printers, but they remain connected to the network all day, albeit with sporadic use. Would this work on a backbone consisting of an ISDN line at the main site and a DSL line at the second site? (The main site cannot get DSL)

Thank you
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So your main site uses ISDN to connect to its' upstream Internet provider, then you have a DSL connection between the main site and the second site? Yes, this should work fine given the circumstances you've outlined. Should the second site grow to a point where performance becomes an issue at the main site, you might need to enable some bandwidth shaping or limiting, but at the outset this shouldn't be an issue.
One caveat I forgot to note - if the second site sends continuous pings to maintain network connectivity AND your ISDN provider charges you a per minute usage fee, you might run into an increase (possibly substantial) in your ISDN monthly costs... but if you're charged a flat-rate fee or if your main site already keeps a persistent Internet connection, this won't be an issue.


Actually, no. The main site uses a T1 for the internet. I was given to bellieve that I could not use this T1 for both internet and to connect the second site to the network. I thought I had to put in a separate line at the main site and use it only to communicate with the second site. Have I been misled?

The second site will not grow. It will shrink, in fact. Currently there is a huge, wide connection between the two buildings (called a GIGAman from AT&T), which carries both voice and data. We don't need to carry voice any more, and the traffic is about 5% of what it was.
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Do you mean a hardware VPN?

(I'm a beginner, and the procurer and quote-getter, not the sysadmin.)

I have used a Watchguard VPN-on-a-card software-ish VPN from home, and it is way too slow when you are using the database application. (I am considering having all the second site PCs duplicated as hosts at the main site, and using GoToMyPC, which is fast, but I wanted to present the option of Frame-Relay to management).

Is there a VPN I could run using second site DSL to main site internet T1 that would be fast enough?

By fast enough, I mean as fast as native DSL. Like I say, the Watchguard VPN card I used in my notebook slowed  things down tooooo much.
I use Smoothwall Corporate Server running on a Pentium (yes, Pentium) 333 mhz server as my firewall/VPN endpoint. Since Smoothwall is a software product running on your own hardware, this or similar software/hardware combinations should provide the speed you need without impacting your application performance. It's also cheaper than running a hardware VPN like Sonicwall, Cisco, or Checkpoint.
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