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Remote SBS 2003 Hosting

I just put in a SBS at a clients house.  She has a static Ip with Biz cable internet.

She travels with her laptop more than she is in the office.

Over the weekend the server went down due to power outage.  (actually I'm not sure if it was power or the internet is just down.)  

Most of my clients give me keys just in case something happens.  However since this is a home...

So my thinking is to host her SBS out of my office.  I have plenty of IPs to use and enough bandwidth.

I checked google and it looks like others are hosting SBS solutions as well.  (at $500 a month)  whewww.

My first thought was to put in a sonicwall at the office with a static VPN to the SBS.  

My questions are:
What should do the DHCP/DNS

should I run all traffic through the SBS like I normally would?

How are programs like QB going to work.  It is painfully slow when I use it over a VPN for my company.  I assume it will be just as painful if the SBS sits in my office and they run QB from the house.

Any ideas or pointers would be great.  

thanks.
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livegirllove
Asked:
livegirllove
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1 Solution
 
livegirlloveAuthor Commented:
Should I still use the 2 nic setup?  There will be no actual computers on the physical LAN side of this SBS.  It will all be VPN traffic from the sonicwall at her house/office.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Actually your first question needs to be about licensing.  In order to provide hosted SBS solutions, you must aquire special licensing from Microsoft called a "Service Provider License Agreement".  You cannot house an SBS in your office that is leased for customer user under the standard SBS EULA.  There is a provision in the standard EULA that allows you to lease an SBS which is kept at your client's premises... but obviously that's not what your intent is here.

There are hosted SBS solutions, which I offer to my clients like the one you describe.  I use The Planet as the hosting provider for my clients... definitely no bandwidth issues there!  http://www.theplanet.com/partners/system_integrator.asp

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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livegirlloveAuthor Commented:
Ah thanks for the licensing tip.

Assuming I get the license..

How are the issues above addressed, dhcp/dns?

I was thinking of using a 2003 standard in a virtual machine to house quickbooks and they can remote to that to avoid the slow over VPN QB issue I usually see.

But then what about simple things like remoteing into a desktop in the house?  I can never remote back to a computer that is connected via connection manager/vpn.  Special provision will have to be made for that.

Shared drive access will be slower.  But mainly its a word doc here and there.  
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
"Assuming I get the license.."

Sorry, but that's not an easy assumption.  SPLA is a major deal... you must be a Microsoft Certified Partner, and worrying about dhcp/dns issues are not the first thing to be focusing on.

Perhaps you might want to review the Service Providers site at Microsoft?
http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders

If this is your first venture into hosting an SBS, then you want to partner with someone like ThePlanet.  

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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livegirlloveAuthor Commented:
yea I was reading that now.  grumble.  I sent off an email to theplanet.
1.       What is support policy for the local PCs  
2.      What connects the office to your datacenter?  Do you provide some router or vpn device?  
3.      How do  your customers overcome the slower bandwidth issues?  My main concern is how badly Quickbooks runs over a VPN or any low speed connection.
4.      As this client will always call me before a VAR, what is my access to the server?  Aside from RDP/RWW is there KVM over IP or something else for remote reboots?  Or is that a ticket situation or call you?
5.        How would I be able to remote desktop to the client PCs?  
6.      How does RWW work to connect back to a local PC?
7.      What antivirus / spam solution do you use and how is it managed?  How are the local pcs protected?
8.      Do the clients still benefit from WSUS?
9.      Do the clients have access to shared/mapped drives?

we'll see what they say.  I'm not really comfortable yet with the hosted model.  I'm coming around but it just seems weird to have your server somewhere else.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Those are all good questions.  I can answer most of them for you though... I've been doing business with ThePlanet (and EV1 Servers) for many years now... and think they do a great job.

1.       What is support policy for the local PC's  
None... that's your job.

2.      What connects the office to your datacenter?  Do you provide some router or vpn device?  
Whatever broadband service you provide.  The SBS itself is behind a router, but there is no device provided locally to the users location.

3.      How do  your customers overcome the slower bandwidth issues?  My main concern is how badly Quickbooks runs over a VPN or any low speed connection.
The connection on the server side is Uncapped bandwidth bursting, meaning there is no bandwidth limitation... the data will flow as fast as their machine can receive it.


4.      As this client will always call me before a VAR, what is my access to the server?  Aside from RDP/RWW is there KVM over IP or something else for remote reboots?  Or is that a ticket situation or call you?
Not only will the client call you before the VAR.  They can't call the VAR.  The Planet's SBS Hosting is private labeled as YOURS.  You have 24/7 access and full support including an Admin Control Panel for your hosted servers, plus both Ticket/Phone support 24/7.  (I've rarely had a problem with trouble tickets on any of my servers there)

5.        How would I be able to remote desktop to the client PCs?  
The same way you would normally.  You would have to establish a full-time VPN Tunnel to the SBS from the client site.

6.      How does RWW work to connect back to a local PC?
The same as it would in an on-site installation.

7.      What antivirus / spam solution do you use and how is it managed?  How are the local pcs protected?
AV is F-Secure... I'm not sure what they are using for SPAM.  Local PC's are your responsibility, but you can still use something like TrendMIcro CSM if you like, managed from the SBS.  Since TM's CSM doesn't cost anything for the server license, it's still a good deal.

8.      Do the clients still benefit from WSUS?
As far as I know, WSUS is currently not included.

9.      Do the clients have access to shared/mapped drives?
Absolutely.


Jeff
TechSoEasy
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livegirlloveAuthor Commented:
Thanks alot for your time Jeff.  One day I will find out how you know so damn much.  I work, read, google 16-18 hours a day (because I love my job ;) )  but I don't feel like I'm close to you.  Where do you find the time to stay on top of emerging trends as well as run your business?  I'm getting snoopy now but what is your client base?

My biggest concern then would be upload speed to the server.  at best a full t-1.  She's on a Cox Soho plan which is 15/1(.5?).  So getting the files to the server will be slowish.  Especially on big stuff.  That could make My Docs redirection a bit sluggish.

In general you seem to be happy with The Planet/SBS hosting.  What type of clients do you have in a hosted solution?

And then from the website I see a rough figure of $35k for 3 years.  It seems like that is the price to the client?  Thats about $900+ a month.  Steep.  Especially since they will still have to pay me for all the desktop support, local antivirus.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
"That could make My Docs redirection a bit sluggish"
Only the first time it's synching the folders.  After that, if off-line files are enabled, then there is a cached copy locally and only the changes are uploaded.

"In general you seem to be happy with The Planet/SBS hosting.  What type of clients do you have in a hosted solution?"
To be honest, they just launched this service last month.  But my web servers have been with them for years (I currently have a few hundred web sites hosted on my servers there).  I was very pleased with the way they put this together though... sold only through partners (ie, you).  I met with the guys who are running the SBS Hosting while I was in Redmond a couple weeks ago at SMBNation... and was even more impressed with how they are approaching it.  I've only demoed one server so far... but am going to be deploying one for a client soon.  

I see Hosted SBS as ideal for de-centralized companies that for the most part don't even have a real office... just like what you're client's situation is... the owner works from home with maybe one employee there and then 4 or 5 others work from their homes or often work on the road with laptops.

Pricing starts at about $600.00/month (to the client)... which is not that bad actually.  SQL 2005 is included as well... (these are SBS Premium without ISA).  There's a 100% uptime guarantee, and off-site backups are included.  I bill $60.00/desktop/month which is no different whether they have the server in-house or hosted.  I normally bill $350.00/month for management and monitoring of an in-house SBS, but I only add $200.00 to the hosted SBS (but I still come out better than with their in-house, especially because I can ALWAYs work remotely... no more remote reboots that don't come back up and I have to trudge down to their office at 3:00am to remove the floppy disk that someone stuck in the A: drive).

"I'm getting snoopy now but what is your client base?"
I have a number of SBS networks that I manage locally, but more and more I'm doing rebuilds of misconfigured servers... basically wherever those exist in the world, as that's all done remotely.  I also have a couple colleagues here that I collaborate with... basically doing their SBS deployments for them, and then they take over management while I continue to work with the clients to train them and show them how to get real value from the technology.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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livegirlloveAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jeff
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