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Need best way to share files with 3 remote computers

Posted on 2009-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm having a hard time sharing files that are on a SBS 2003 with 3 computers remotely connected.

Here's what I have now:
SBS 2003 on Dell server
SonicWall 2040
T1

Remote office 1 - connected by VPN router to router (Netgear Router) over cable modem.
2 Computers in office 1

Remote office 2 - connected the same way as 1
1 computer in office 2

Remote office 3 - connected with SonicWall VPN client over cable modem
1 computer

What's being shared are MS Word and Excel files.
Currently, I'm using Microsoft Folder Synchronization.  That's not working too well anymore. Access is slow, and files disconnect unexpectedly with lost changes.  I had thought that Folder Sync would have sensed bad connections, and used local copy automatically.

I experimented with MS terminal server, but that's quite slow.  I can try a copy of Citrix Access Essentials, but if it's built on top of Microsoft Terminal server, I'm afraid it won't be much better.

I have thought of synchronizing folders, then somehow having the computer work with the local copies, and at the end of the day reconnect and sync. I don't know if this is possible.

I had tried SUSE Linux / Novell iFolder, but that is difficult for me to get support with.

I need a solution. The client is getting upset, and I am stressed.

Thanks.

Larry

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Question by:computerlarry
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Assisted Solution

by:Hypercat (Deb)
Hypercat (Deb) earned 800 total points
ID: 23614915
A terminal server is the best solution to this situation. However, with SBS you have to have a separate server; the SBS server will not run in terminal server application mode.  You said that you have tried terminal server, but please explain how you tried this and why the opinion was that it is "too slow." It is by far the fastest solution to this type of remote access if properly configured.
Another possibility for an SBS environment is Remote Web Workplace, but each remote user has to have a local workstation that they can connect to.  When you get up to 3 or 4 simultaneous users, it's less expensive to get a terminal server box.
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ryansoto earned 1200 total points
ID: 23614933
Well - Terminal server will work fine in your case but if your going to load it on top of the existing SBS machine then your going to experience slow access.
You should get a dedicated Terminal Server that way clients can access the machine through the internet VS a slow VPN connection.
Unless you can get a good connection between the sites, but with that little of clients at each office I think terminal server would be a better route.
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Author Comment

by:computerlarry
ID: 23619654
I installed a new Server 2003 and then updated it on a brand new machine.  I installed Terminal server role.  When a Word file is opened, it takes 30 seconds before a click to insert the cursor will work.

Where should I look to see what's slowing things down?

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Author Comment

by:computerlarry
ID: 23622246
Scratch what I just wrote.   My observation was based on a Timbuktu remote control of the computer that was connecting via terminal server. When I had the user open files on the Terminal server, they didn't experience the same delay.
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Expert Comment

by:ryansoto
ID: 23622465
Very nice now to use from the outside you will need to map a name say TS.DOMAIN.COM
and forward that to the external IP of your firewall.
Then port forward your firewall (port 3389) to the internal IP of the terminal server
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