How to use a VPN while still accessing local resources on a Windows network

Damian Gardner
Damian Gardner used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello - we have acquired another company, and are planning the email access for the remote users of that company in NJ to our own Exchange server located in Chicago.  Our current remote salesmen use a Cisco VPN to allow their Outlooks access, but I don't think they are able to access any local resources on their home networks while they're on the VPN session. So - I am wondering if there is a way to get them connected to our Excahnge mail server, while still allowing them to continue accessing their local applications on their own network subnet?

Thanks for your help
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Thomas GrassiSystems Administrator
Commented:
Which version of Exchange are you using in Chicago?

If 2007 and above you can setup autodiscover Web Access

Then all they need to do is configure Outlook to point to your exchange server using http etc

I have instructions for setting up outlook clients to access remote exchange server
outlook 2003 to outlook 2010 if you need it let me know.
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
Most VPN clients will have a setting that allows access to local resources. As long as you aren't using the same IP subnet on both sites then it shouldn't be an issue to access both.

However if you are both using 192.168.1.x (for example) then you are going to have problems as the client will not know where to route the traffic.

Simon.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic Advisor
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
If you do not want to go that way, or are not able to:
Disallowing the local network access while connected with Cisco VPN is a security setting coming from the Cisco device, and can be switched off. The keyword for that is "split tunneling". It also means that Internet traffic will not have to go thru the VPN.
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Damian GardnerIT Admin

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your responses, gentlemen.  I'll answer each below:

Qlemo: this is good to know that we have an option for split tunneling

Simon: yes, it would be two different subnets of 192.168.1 in Chicago and 192.168.48 in NJ, so that's good to know.

Trgrassijr55: Sorry to not say before, but we're on Exchange 2003 still (about to jump to 2010) and Outlook 2010 clients.  We're thinking we might try and punch a hole through our Cisco ASA to allow for OWA traffic in, and just let the remote clients access their mail that way?

Thanks for your help gentlemen,
Damian
Technical Consultant
Commented:
You just need to turn on 'split tunneling' on the Cisco VPN

Cisco ASA - Enable Split Tunnel for IPSEC / SSLVPN / WEBVPN Clients


Pete
Thomas GrassiSystems Administrator

Commented:
Damian

Yes the NJ clients should be able to access your Exchange sever in chicago.

Make sure ports 443 and https is open

The NJ clients do not need to VPN to Chicago to access exchange from a remote site.
If the router in NJ and Chicago is setup properly they will be connected just of if they are local to the server.

Like I said I have instructions for the client side if you need them.
Damian GardnerIT Admin

Author

Commented:
thanks for your help. it's working now.

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