Best way to remotely connect offices?
Posted on 2008-06-09
Hi. I need to set up an environment that our branch offices can connect to our central office in California for an accounting software called SBT. Currently there are 7 workstations that connect to our server (Win 2003 server) for the software. A quick diagram of our network in CA is like this: T1 internet-> Linksys router(DHCP enabled) -> Win 2003 Server (Active Directory) -> Each workstation gets 192.168.1.XXX as an IP and shares internet.
The plan is to first make 3 workstations in Japan use the software at the same time. I know that Remote Desktop allows only 1 user at a time, so it's not gonna work for our project. What could be the best way to implement this plan? The possible plans that I can think of are:
1. The best way for us now:
I don't know if it's possible, but because we have already 7 workstations to connect to the software and thanks to the time zone difference, we can somehow make 3 workstations in Japan to connect to 3 different workstations in our central office. I know RDP uses port 3389, so this plan is only possible when the users in Japan could access throughout different ports. Is it possible to use 3 different ports in a router to send 3 requests from outside to 3 different workstation here? If so, this could be the best plan for us.
2. Second Option: VPN:
I've heard about it but have never used it. Would it be one of the best options in my situation? The only problem is that I have to limit the users from some of our resources in Central office. If you're famillia with VPN, please explain to me how to set up the network.
3. Third option:
This could be an ideal way, but if I can, I'd like to avoid it due to its cost and time.
Use Win 2003 Terminal Server and buy CALS for the users in Japan. Set up the Terminal Server in central office. Again, the actual number of remote users are at most 3, so I'd like to pass this one, if I could have another option.
These are some of the possible deployment plans that I can think of. Please advise me which way to go. If there's a better way, please let me know also. Although I understand some network techniques, I'm not a network engineer, so please explain to me using normal English :-) Thanks in advance