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VPN works but sometimes outlook or mapped drives dont??

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey guys,

I run a SBS08 network and have 1 user in Vegas right now on her VZ access card. Well, for some odd reason when she connects to VPN first and than tries to launch Outlook it causes her outlook to stay in a "trying to connect to MS Exchange" state in the bottom right hand corner. If I disconnect her from the VPN and than launch Outlook first it will connect like its suppose to and than I have to reconnect the VPN for it all to work correctly.

And the most recent call I got is.. sometimes the mapped network drive disconnects and I have to go through the steps above to reconnect it.
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Question by:sbodnar
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35059896
My first recommendation is to quit using VPN to get to Outlook
Either setup Outlook Anywhere in Outlook or use OWA...

VPN is a terribly slow connection process in and of itself, and over a cellular broadband card it gets worse.  

I do know that the software required for the Verizon broadband has had issues if you choose to enable compression during the software install.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35059929
Outlook anywhere???

What is your recommendation for remote users that need access to shared drives if we dont use VPN??
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35060021
The solution for accessing remote file shares depends on how many remote workers you have at anyone time

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794265(WS.10).aspx
Step 6 to configure Outlook Anywhere
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35060057
right now I would have up to 30 remote workers at the worst possible scenario..typically maybe 5 at a time
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35060131
Then what you really need is a Terminal Server...a second physical (or could be virtual, but not on the SBS box) server running remote desktop services

Are they connecting to an application (other than Exchange) when remote?
Or do they just need access to files?

If you just need file access, then Companyweb, published externally with no VPN required

Do some of the users have desktops in the main office?
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35060150
Yes, they just need access to there mapped network drives. They all have laptops.

How can I use the Companyweb for this??
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35060198
Companyweb is simply sharepoint services.   You can create one or multiple document libraries depending on access required.    Simply upload your files to the document libraries, then when on the road, they simply access the Companyweb URL via IE.
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35060213
is this the only method?? or is there something else I can do?

Reason, I ask is because each has there own home drive and I dont wanna create a home page for each user.
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35060230
Are they each accessing a completely separate set of files?

How big is your internet speed?  Up and down...For VPN to reallly work you need lots of bandwidth  both up and down

And you need business grade firewall/router that can handle that many VPN connections well
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35060271
yes, there Home drives and Dept Drives if need be.

we have a 2 x T1
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Cris Hanna earned 500 total points
ID: 35060494
Instituting a Terminal Server would go a long way to resolving the issues you are having with Mapped drives

Instead of VPNing in, They would remote desktop to a second server through Remote Web Workplace on the SBS Box..mapped drives could be set on the Terminal session...it would be just like being at the office.

Other option is to add more bandwidth and drive mapping is likely to be less of an issue because they will have faster connections

And of course Outlook Anywhere to connect for email instead of VPN
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35069263
Chris,

I setup Outlook anywhere successfully and its a very very good tool. One situation that is coming up is... When a remote user is connected to VPN first their outlook anywhere wont connect. BUT! If I connect outlook anywere first and then hook up the VPN everything works fine... ??? Any suggestions what could be going on??
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35069973
When you VPN first you are inside the LAN.  Internal dns may not configured to route outlook anywhere properly when inside the lan
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35070117
Its only this user though which is odd... no one else seems to have the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35070168
Do all user's VPN via the verizon card?
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35070368
i encourage it over the use of available public wifi to the users who own a VZ access card
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35070461
Hard to say why one person is having issues.  Was looking for a common denominator like the verizon cardd
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Author Comment

by:sbodnar
ID: 35070512
I know its a tough call..

You have any thoughts on certain things I should check for in the settings of the machine that can be potentially causing the conflicts?
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 35073501
So if I understand correctly.   This is only 1 user who happens to use a Verizon Broadband USB device, that's having the issue?  You have other users who also use the same Verizon Broadband USB connection and they don't have any issues?

If that's the case, check with verizon and ask if there are a) updates available for that particular verizon card and a newer version of the verizon software....remember to uninstall current version, then when installing newere version, say no to anything during the software install which mentions "compression", "boost", etc.
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