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Easiest way to share a folder on a domain to a client on a local workgroup

Posted on 2014-02-23
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Our network consists of a WAN with many branch offices. At one of our branch offices, there is also an ADSL link which is dedicated to 2 Training PC's. These are not part of the WAN. They are just used to stream online video inductions.

Recently the need to share a folder from inside one of the Share Folders on our domain to these 2 training PC's has come up.
Just wondering what the easiest solution would be? It is mainly so when users finish inductions on the training PC's, they can save certificates etc to this folder on our domain.

The Server is Server 2008 R2. The Clients are both Win XP.
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Question by:Howzatt
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11 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kamal Khaleefa
ID: 39881778
since these two PC's are not a part of your domain then they will not be able to access that file
you can provide a VPN connection to them to access that folder or maybe to use Team viewer to transfer certifications to your folder
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:peea
ID: 39882180
> since these two PC's are not a part of your domain then they will not be able to access that file

I think the author is asking for how to access the two training PCs from other computers across the WAN.

As the two PCs are not in the domain, so it should not have difficulty to access the two PCs, just share the folders as what you with workgroup computers.
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39882244
No, the 2 training PC's are not on our network either. They are on their own local ADSL link which has nothing to do with our WAN link at that particular branch office. Lets just pretend the 2 PC's are at home on a home ADSL connection.  

I can achieve what I want by setting up FTP on the file server, then map this location to the 2 training PC's but then I need to mess around with our firewalls etc. I was hoping there might be a few 3rd party apps available these days  which I could install on the host & the client to achieve the same goal.

Sounds like there isn't, so I will just have to setup FTP.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andy M earned 500 total points
ID: 39882328
FTP will probably be the viable method, especially if the training systems don't need constant connection to the folder.

There are some applications you could use like online storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc) though I don't like using them as effectively you are storing it on a third parties's server (to which the third party has access) and if not configured correctly can use a lot of bandwidth.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Sandeep
ID: 39882933
Can you ping from Client to Domain Server? Domain Server to Client?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:peea
ID: 39884842
if all your work mates are working on MS Office, it might be better to use MS Groove as the platform to share files and folders.

http://grv.microsoft.com/products/default.htm
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39887466
+1 for Groove Server. Great product, most under-hyped IMO.
Microsoft bought them only to stop from the world domination.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:peea
ID: 39887596
One more advantage of using Microsoft Groove instead of simple file sharing like SMB or FTP is file locking mechanism. It enables co-authors working on the same file or group of files have the ability to keeps consistent file versions.

Another benefit is one user can work on multiple projects hence multiple groove sharing projects are allowed and isolated to each other user groups.

Lastly, there is no firewall issue with Groove. Users no need to worry about any incoming connections and port forwarding settings on the firewall as the product only needs outgoing HTTP and HTTPS which is commonly allowed by default for most organisations.
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39887651
They aren't MS docs. Mainly PDFs. But thanks anyway
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:peea
ID: 39887679
Technically, Groove has nothing to do with Office. It's just released as a component of Office after the company was bought by MS.

Groove actually supports any files including PDF. You can open PDFs directly from Groove once Acrobat Reader or Writer is installed.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39887954
One more thing - if you are able to overcome or mitigate the reasons for keeping those machines off your LAN, you shall have a natural solution of Microsoft CIFS file shares.
Plus save the OPEX of the ADSL ongoing.
I would try to apply RMS matrix (risk mitigation strategy) in the same way as secuity consultants do:
1. List and spell each risk in detail.
2. Put a price tag on business damage in each case.
3. Evaluate probability of risk, per year.
4. Multiply (2) by (3) and you get liability per year per risk.
5. Think of type of mitigation (it is Avoid for you now; but there is also Ignore, Mitigate and Accept).
6. Put the price tag on each action and check the balance.

Quite often Avoid indirectly costs a businesss in lost productivity, while the risk itself is not so high.
As for Mitigation technology, you might be able to apply oppressive GPOs to lock down user activity, e.g. use Software Restriction Policies and remove unneeded tools and privileges.
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