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remote access to server and workplace PCs

Posted on 2008-06-24
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What is the best solution for connnecting from an external
small office / home computer to the main office with a
SBS 2003?

ANd what are the main advantages and disadvantages of each
method?

(Need to access users outlook / database application / server data)
(speed of access is the main concern)


1) Create a VPn connection to the main office
   and install the database application and outlook on the
   local PC, and map any relevant network drives.


2) Create a VPN connection then remote desktop in.

3) Use Remote Web Workplace from home browser

4) Terminal Server (not too sure what this is)
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Question by:vtmf861
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:kanalQko
ID: 21855674
i think this is one of the best secure solutions: using SSH tunnel, port forwarding and rdp protocol

http://theillustratednetwork.mvps.org/Ssh/RemoteDesktopSSH.html
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 150 total points
ID: 21855702
1) Would be a good option, but you need a really beefy internet connection on both sides, the upload speed should be the same speed as the download speed.
2) + 3) Probably your best option, both are similar, but for 2) you'd need a PC running at the other site on which you could work remotely.
4) on SBS no option, as TS on SBS is for administrative use only.
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Assisted Solution

by:Michael Worsham
Michael Worsham earned 100 total points
ID: 21855960
I recommend rindi's options as well. As for the Terminal Server (TS), you would need a separate Windows Server 2003 environment for that along with the TS CAL pack as well as the SBS environment only allows for administrative use and the SBS server cannot have the TS server environment loaded onto it (except as a Virtual Server -- but that again resorts back to having a separate Server environment for it as well).

Setting up a terminal server is rather easy and all you would need to do is allow the remote users to access the TS server environment (preferabily via VPN tunnel, authenciated by the SBS server) then allow the remote users to use the Remote Desktop Client (RDC) to access the terminal server environment and run the applications as if they were on-site at the business location.
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Author Comment

by:vtmf861
ID: 21863415

With #1, what about if the upload and download speed is fast for the main office, but for the remote offices, the download speed is very fast, but the upload speed is just okay.?

With #2 & #3, do the upload speeds and dl speeds of both the main office and remote office have
to be extremely fast?

With #3, you would still need a PC running on the other side too right?

With #4, sounds like purchasing alot more equipment.
But would this make things ALOT faster?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 21864836
1) Both speeds have to be fast as the data goes both ways.

2) & 3) Here the speed doesn't have to be too high, but it is an advantage, particularly if many users need to connect at the same time. But it is by far not as critical as with 1).

3) I don't think so, but I'm not sure. As far as I know it is similar to Terminal Services, but for SBS. Maybe you should ask this in the SBS zone.

4) You'd just need a server and the OS for it. Terminal services runs fast even on relatively slow connections, as just the keyboard and display info is passed along. The server does need to be powerful enough, depending on the number of concurrent connections.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Worsham
ID: 21865847
As for #3: Remote Web Workplace (RWW) has to be able to access a physical PC on the local side, as it is the user's information that is being passed to it via the active domain environment. All RWW is in a way is like a VNC client session, but with added capabilities.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 21866173
Wouldn't a user account and a profile located on the server be enough for RWW to work?
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Expert Comment

by:Michael Worsham
ID: 21866616
Remote Web Workplace (RWW) needs a physical device/session to be utilized, whether it be a physical PC or a Terminal Server session.

The latter part can be explained through this link on how to set it up, etc:
http://sbsurl.com/sbstss
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