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Remote Access to application

Posted on 2012-03-31
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Last Modified: 2012-04-19
Hello EE. We just installed MS Great Plains on our network. Currently we have a Hub and spoke network with Active Directory and a single domain. The spoke sites are connected to the hub via site to site IPSEC VPN tunnels.We have another location that is affliated with us but is not currently part of our domain but we would like to give them access to Great Plains. Trying to figure out what is the best way to accomplish this. Putting them on our domain is an option but they do have there own domain and Exchange Server and would not want to change that if possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:InSearchOf
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Expert Comment

by:Anuroopsundd
ID: 37790778
Can you build a trust between the domains?
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Expert Comment

by:awaggoner
ID: 37790873
The way we do this is via published applications using Citrix XenApp.

This reduces the amount of bandwidth you need to around 30-35kbps a session.  If you try to run GP across the WAN, it will choke unless you have a relatively huge amount of bandwidth.

If you don't want the expense of purchasing a full blown Citrix installation, you should at least set up a terminal server (or multiple servers depending on capacity and redundancy needs).   This will be much less expensive than Citrix, but not quite as efficient.
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by:awaggoner
ID: 37790877
Using published apps or terminal services also means you do not need to modify AD in any way.  New accounts will need to be created in the GP domain, but that will bu much easier than anything else.  Plus these new accounts can be given very limited permission to the GP domain.  This will help with security configurations.
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by:InSearchOf
ID: 37791994
Well, what would a trust relationship accomplish?

What would be the difference between Terminal Services and Citrix?
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Expert Comment

by:awaggoner
ID: 37792035
A trust relationship would tie the two domains together.

Terminal services is built into Windows servers.  It just needs terminal services CALs for the server you want to be a terminal server.  Of course, you would want your terminal server be used for this role only.

Citrix XenApp is a third party solution that's sits on top of MS terminal services.  XenApp uses a more efficient protocol than RDP and has better features for printing and publishing apps, as well as management.
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Expert Comment

by:robdl
ID: 37792927
I would recommend  RD Web Access (Server2008R2) to publish apps. All you would need then is to purchase TS Cals and not all the Citrix stuff.
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Expert Comment

by:awaggoner
ID: 37793246
A Microsoft only deployment can work well.  It will depend on your companies needs.  'All that Citrix stuff' may not be needed for this environment, but it does provide quite a few features which could help enhance the end user experience.  It shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
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Expert Comment

by:robdl
ID: 37794213
Cost becomes a factor with Citrix licensing + Microsoft licensing. In a Microsoft only deployment, only RD User or Device CAL's need to be purchased.
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Assisted Solution

by:awaggoner
awaggoner earned 250 total points
ID: 37794594
Yes, the Citrix option is more expensive.  However, the additional cost may be worth it.  I did not say it was the best solution for this case, but it does deserve consideration.

The straight MS solution may be the correct solution in this case.

In my network we are using Great Plains and Citrix published apps, and have for a decade.  It has worked very well for us across our WAN and for our LAN users.  Each time our Citrix licenses come up for renewal we re-evaluate the need to keep using Citrix and continue to see the value.

The above is my opinion based on experience and research.  This solution is not the only method, and other options could be used.  We will be evaluating VDI soon to see if it can replace XenApp.
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Expert Comment

by:robdl
ID: 37795411
VMWare Horizon, which is a brand new SaaS solution (includes a solution for mobile devices) may be worth taking a look at also.
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Author Comment

by:InSearchOf
ID: 37805467
Thanks for the info guys. What is the difference between Terminal Services and RD Web Access? The remote location is running a mix of XP and Win 7.
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Accepted Solution

by:
robdl earned 250 total points
ID: 37805967
Terminal services is now called RD Web Access (Remote Desktop Web Access). The legacy Terminal Services of just using RDP to connect to a server desktop is still an option but published apps is definitely less process intensive and lowers bandwidth. Here's a really good link that should explain it.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731923.aspx
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