sbs2008 terminal server vs vpn

Have a SBS2008 server looking to connect several workstations from a remote location that will need to run applications and map to data. I believe it's more practicably to run terminal server than make a VPN tunnel however would like other EE opinions.

Other options welcome as well.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAsked:
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HaslerctCommented:
As it connect from remote location I would suggest to use both. VPN ensure the remote client to the server connection is secured. And use terminal server for their application usage, so that it is easier to manage (eg application upgrade, etc)
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
With a VPN, you have a much more secure environemnt. TS opens you up to more hackers. It really depends on what your user need to do and if they wull be taking their office laptops off site where they need to run apps and access the server beinh the firewall.

TS keeps all apps and data on the servers behind the firewall. It frees you up from installing the same apps on multiple Pc's and laptops and centralized your need for apps to one or more servers.

TS also allows your users to log in from anywhere (if you don;t have strict security rules in the firewall) and make it more conveinent for users.

It's a toss-up - which way to go.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAuthor Commented:
thanks Haslerct, couple questions can I use any application, for example I know MS Office apps are available how about QuickBooks and apps like this?

So the apps can connect to data easily on the server or is the app opened locally and only accesses data locally?
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
The app is opened on the server and access data on that server. i setup one of my clients with a 2008 R2 server running Quickbooks 2012 on a terminal server. His is a CPA that sells online QB services to his clients. They login vis TS, launch QB and do all their sales, and other QB functions.

It works well.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Comparing VPN and TS is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
If considering QuickBooks, VPN is not an option. QuickBooks requires the data be on the same LAN, i.e. it must have a 100 mbps connection.  Not doing so can result in data corruption.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAuthor Commented:
thought VPN slowed things down ? guess it's faster since the end user is using services on the server rather than local, correct and the reason to not just use VPN with applications local on the remote workstation.
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Yes, we tried QB over VPN and it would not work.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAuthor Commented:
how about PCLaw, could this be used via TS, how do you now which apps are available? Maybe I should just assume any application will work, correct?

I take it the app isn't installed on the server, I believe some apps my client use the vendor recommends only mapping a drive to data on the server but not installing the app on the server. How does TS see this app?

Very true RobWill thanks for pointing that out about QB, forgot how temperamental it can be.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"thought VPN slowed things down ?
Absolutely, which is why you cannot use it for QuickBooks.
A VPN copies data across the VPN tunnel and with any dta base becomes very "chatty" resulting in terrible performance and as mentioned often data corruption.
A terminal server (RDS server) keeps all data and computations on the LAN and only sends screen images to the remote site resulting in better security, better performance, and central control and management.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
The only types of files that will work over a VPN are non-database files like Excel and word.  Even those will be much slower to open and save.

VPN's also have a huge security risk in that it is a wide open tunnel between a remote computer over which you have no control having direct access to the corporate network.  Viruses and local hackers can piggy-back directly into the corporate site.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAuthor Commented:
sorry don't mean to beat this into the ground the remote workstation is there a way to create a virtual computer to RDP or is there only the option to choose physical desktops on the network for the remote computer to RDP to?

doesn't sound like VPN is an option and I checked other apps that recommend not using TS, leads me to believe the best option is an RDP connection, is it possible without using any of the physical workstations on the LAN. Example make a virtual workstation to RDP to?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
You can RDP to a TS, a workstation, or a Virtual PC, but there must be a physical or virtual machine to which you can connect.
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WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyAuthor Commented:
thanks RobWill,
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