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How to Connect Two Offices Via Internet

Posted on 2008-10-06
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I currently have two offices in two different cities. The main office has 3 desktops and 2 laptops running Windows Vista Ultimate. The second office has 1 laptop and 1 desktop running windows vista ultimate.
Both offices have office 2007 on all computers.
I need public calendaring and in house email, so I would like SBS2003 (premium?) for no more than 7 users.
Here are my questions:

Is Office 2007 compatible with SBS 2003 R2?

Is SBS 2003 premium the product I should look at?

I would like to buy the hardware/software preconfigured on the server if possible, so who should I be talking to for equipment and what should I get considering the max of 7 users, 2 laptops(wireless hopefully), windows vista on existing computers and office 2007?

I need to have people at our other location(the 2 computer location) connect in to the SBS Server especially for the public calendars, so what do I need to connect the two locations in terms of hardware and where can I purchase this(CDW, Dell )??

Backup(on or offsite) and Raid for safety are also issues.


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Question by:emumaster
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Andres Perales earned 250 total points
ID: 22650929
You should be able to do what you need with the standard edition, Premium adds the ability to install SQL server on a separate machine, so in essence you would need two servers for this installation.
You will also need to pick your hardware, Dell has some good options and you can have them install SBS on the hardware you purchase, as well as with CDW.  You will still need to buy your CAL's and such for your users.  Your best bet would be to call them directly and explain what you are trying to accomplish.
Office 2007 will work with all of the SBS products, all Office 2007 is, is your productivity suite for your users.
SBS will allow you to join all your clients to the SBS domain, as long as they are XP Professional and Vista Business editions of your users operating systems. Vista Ultimate can join a domain also.
You can purchase some Cisco ASA devices to connect your networks to the internet and provide you NATing and firewall protection to your networks, as well as create VPN Tunnels between the two locations to allow connectivity to the main office, it would seem like both locations would be a Local network.
For backup SBS has that part of Operating Systems, and you can include a Tape drive when you purchase the hardware to move you backups to tape, and then offsite.
You should also configure you server with RAID options when you speak to the hardware vendor.  Dell or CDW or HP, whoever you choose.
 
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by:MikeKane
ID: 22651053
To connect 2 separate offices you will need some type of data line or vpn built between the locations.    

Usually, if you have internet connectivity at both locations, you can setup a vpn between the 2 locations using the 2 firewalls you have installed as long as they support that functionality.    

Ideally, each location should have it own internal subnet so it much more intuitive when it comes to routing traffic between the 2.    

Setting up SBS server at 1 subnet is fine as long as you have connectivity and routing setup from the 2nd location.   As long as those remote machines can access the server, running the applications should be fine albiet slower then if the server was local to their subnet.  

You would want to setup the new server, create a domain with DNS etc, create the domain user list for your users, have all the systems join and begin authenticating to the domain.  

On the backup, you should look into either a large tape drive (dependent upon how much data you have to backup) and research a tape rotation scheme to meet your needs.    Make sure you get tapes offsite on a rotating schedule.     You can also look into an offsite backup solution like Ironmountain or evault (i'm not recommending either, they are just options).
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by:emumaster
ID: 22651129
As to the backup part of your answer:
I would love to be able to back this offsite thru the internet each night.
Can you recommend a company on line that does this?
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by:Andres Perales
ID: 22651372
http://www.ironmountain.com/digital/server/
Have used them once before...they are pretty good.
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by:emumaster
ID: 22651381
Can anyone give me a little more detail on setting up the VPN?
Such as should I get a static IP for the SBS Server side of things?
Explain more about using 1 or 2 subnets...
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by:Andres Perales
Andres Perales earned 250 total points
ID: 22651470
Site A - you will get with your ISP and let them know that you will need internet connectivity with a static or couple of static ip addresses.  This should be business class service of course.  Then when you get that service running you put in your firewall device that supports VPN Tunnels...Cisco ASA 5505 supports ten users and vpn tunnels.  You would then put that firewall device in, setup the public ip address on the outside interface of that firewall, and the inside would be private ip addresses.  You would then setup up your SBS Server to be DHCP and DNS and Active directory.  This will issue out your ip addresses for your private network.  This will allow you clients to have access to the internet and all inside.
Site B- you will get with your ISP and let them know that you will need internet connectivity with a static or couple of static ip addresses.  This should be business class service of course.  Then when you get that service running you put in your firewall device that supports VPN Tunnels...Cisco ASA 5505 supports ten users and vpn tunnels.  You would then put that firewall device in, setup the public ip address on the outside interface of that firewall, and the inside would be private ip addresses, this device can also be setup to be your DHCP server to issue ip addresses to your clients and get them on the internet and local network.
Then you would configure your firewall at site A to connect to your Public ip address at site B to iniate the VPN.  you would also configure site B to connect your public ip address at site A to iniate the VPN.  Once this tunnel is configured and iniated.  Clients at Site A should get to computers at Site B, and Site B computers should be able to get to your SBS servers and other services at Site A.
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by:emumaster
ID: 22651641
That is really helpful !!!
Just one other question or two.

On Site A you said "a static or a couple of static ip addresses..."

I should need one static ip for each of my two different locations? Right?

And when I contact the ISP (business class service) to let them know I need internet connectivity, shouldn't I mention both sites at once? Or were you assuming that they could end up being two different providers considering they are in two different cities?

Is Verizon(or other) DSL better than Atlantic Broadband for these purposes?
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by:Andres Perales
ID: 22652297
I mentioned a couple, because depending on who you use for a service they will offer you one static ip address or a range of 5 statics, at a minamum you need 1 static ip address.
that is correct you will need at least 1 static ip address for each site.
I was assuming that they could be separate ISP providers.  In different cities, if both sites are in same city and the vendor can provide service to both stick with one, for billing purposes and such, they will still give you different static IP addresses.
providers will be a preference on your locations, see who will give  you the most bang for your buck, and read their SLA.
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