VPN link two Offices. A and B

Posted on 2010-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Ok someone asked me to do a project for them.  This is way they want :

Link Office A and Office B together and be able to access, shares( stored at office B), printers between offices and allow one user to access Quickbooks remotely from home. Office B will house the server. Office A presently has a fast comcast business internet service(static IP), cheap linksys wireless router, 4 desktops running XP,and 3 network printers.  Office B, has a fast comcast business internet service(static IP). Users use their own laptops (5 Users Mixed between windows Vista, XP and Windows 7) They also have two Windows XP desktops( wired ) All the laptop users access the network wirelessly. All they do is access shares on the server. Is the below configuration to much for this set up? Or it's fine, and great for future changes ?  Also I am going with the Cisco ADA. Do I still need to get switches? Or the ADA can act as a switch?

Qty.      Product Description      Savings

1    Rosewill RSV-R4000 Black Metal / Steel, 1.0 mm thickness, 4U Rackmount Server Chassis 8
2    CISCO ASA5505-BUN-K9 VPN Wired Cisco ASA 5505 10-User Bundle

1     Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

1     LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

1     G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2200 (PC3 17600) Desktop                        Memory

2      Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

1      Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

1       ASUS GeForce 8400 GS EN8400GS Silent/P/512M Video Card

1      GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s

Question by:drebaje
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 33730244
I don't understand why you have specs for desktop computer components.

If you've already selected a firewall/router, then what's the question here?

I'd think you'd want advice on the networking components:

-- router with VPN capabilities on-board; wireless if possible, or get a compatible WAP
-- separate LAN switch (100BT or 1000BT)

Don't use your internet router as a LAN switch.  There's a reason they only put a limited number of ports.  It's for convenience...for people who only have a couple of computers to connect.

Author Comment

ID: 33730270
Are you suggesting that I go with actual server components?. I was going to using desktop components to build a server. Do you know of any reasonable server barebones? As you can see the office is only using the server for file and printer shares. Therefore they don't really need something powerful. Can you recommend any specific networking components?  
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 33730317
I'm just confused why you're describing the networking requirements in detail, then ask about desktop parts.  If you're just looking for hardware for a DIY box, then I must have mis-read the question.

You didn't list the server requirements in near the level of detail as your network requirements.

If the "server" is on 24/7 and move a fair amount of traffic, then I wouldn't spec desktop parts.  You'll be seen as the problem when there's a crash or other problem.  Doesn't matter if the problem had nothing to do with it...if they call in another consultant, the blame will shift to you for using desktop parts.  YMMV.  I use desktop parts for my home server.  But I'm my own client.  In business situations, if they call for a server, I install a server.

HP & Dell have small-business gear that is quiet enough to co-exist in an office environment.  No need to go crazy with rack-mount stuff that is obnoxiously loud.

Sorry, didn't mean to  to disrupt your question.  I thought perhaps you had copy/pasted the wrong section of your hardware list.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 33730349
First off, let's be sure that we understand where your speed limitation will be.  That will be the upload speed at your sever end.  If you client is working with big files, they are not going to be happy with the speed.  I would suggest Remote Desktop or Citrix as a better solution, but then you will need a second server.

Cisco ASA firewall is going to do what you want for VPN connection between the offices and will also give you the EasyVPN client (assuming you are getting maintenance) for the remote user.  I prefer Juniper, but the ASA is good.  Perhaps a bit pricy on the 5505 for 8 users though.   You could look to more of an entry line in Cisco or Juniper.  If budget is a concern you could easily step down a rung to 3COM, SonicWall, WatchGuear, etc as well.  You could even move to a smaller Cisco  I suppose you could even start scraping the bottom with Netgear or Snapgear VPN "firewalls" but I personally would not go there.

Yes, use the built in switch ports.  No problems at all -- especially when you are looking at higher end equipment like the Cisco or Juniper boxes.  You will have a limited number of ports (8) available, so will fill up quickly.  But the office size you provided above seems to fit fine into 8 ports.  When you need more ports get a good switch to hang off the firewall.

I'm not in favor of built servers over brand servers, but that is your business.  If it was me I'd be buying a HP or Dell server.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 33730371
Can we say "WatchGuard" -- not "WatchGuear"  duh!  Sorry about that!  Wow, couple of typo type mistakes in that paragraph....sigh....

Author Comment

ID: 33730431
@aleghart: I just included hardware spec, just for feedback purposes... I just did some research and will go with a HP server.  That's exactly why I listed the components; got some good feedback from you guys. @ mds-cos what model Juniper would you recommend for this set up? Basically I just want to get all the equipment together that I was need for this environment.
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

mds-cos earned 500 total points
ID: 34034779
Take a look at the SSG series ( to begin with.

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