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VPN on a VMWare guest server

Posted on 2014-02-25
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Last Modified: 2014-03-19
I am very new to VMware, and I have tried to research this topic with little luck.  I have a single ESXi VMware server with several guest servers running Windows Server 2003.  The VM server has two NIC cards; only one is in use and connects to the wired network with a router with internet access (Comcast business).  I want to be able to have a few external users connect via VPN over the internet so they can access data on the internal network (e.g., QuickBooks).  I think I know how to do this on a physical server, but have no idea how to do it on a virtual machine.  I can create a new guest machine if that helps, but if someone could give me some basic setup instructions or point me to a "how to" article, I would REALLY appreciate it.  Thanks in advance!

Dave
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Question by:dkreines
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7 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Abhilash
Abhilash earned 2000 total points
ID: 39887824
You would have to to give a Public IP for your ESXi so it can be reached and managed from outside ( If required).
Then have a VM that will act as a VPN gateway (like Open VPN). This VM should also have a public IP (IP facing internet and is accessible from internet).
Create a vSwitch that will have only the VM's which will be accessed via VPN.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39887866
It is just like real servers. I have a client with a very similar setup: Server 2003 running QuickBooks.

There is one VPN into this business and the main server, and a couple of virtual servers all have internal IP addresses (not public) and names.

The user can remote in and access any server without issue. The virtual servers look like real servers.

Do NOT allow remote access to QuickBooks except by Terminal Server. Users cannot have QB on their remote machines and safely access the QB file. But that is the same virtual or real.
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Accepted Solution

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dkreines earned 0 total points
ID: 39889855
Joh, could you explain why I should avoid Quickbooks running on a VPNed workstation?  It would seem this would be just like running on a local workstation, which we do normally with our multi-user version of QuickBooks.  What am I missing?

Dave
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39889872
I may have misunderstood. If the virtual machine is a workstation like Windows 7, and that virtual machine has QuickBooks installed on it, then there should be no problem running QuickBooks that way. That should work.

I thought you were trying to run the QB application on a remote machine and accessing the database on a server. That type of remote access does not work well.

What you are doing should work.
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Author Comment

by:dkreines
ID: 39890790
OK, now I'm not sure.  The Company file will be on the virtual server, and QuickBooks may be installed and run on either an internal workstation or a workstation connecting via VPN.  Will that work?  If not, could you explain a bit about why?  Thanks!
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39890824
First, it is not a good idea (but workable anyway) to install QuickBooks on a Server. It can be done, but not recommended.

Second, and more directly to your question:  If the company file is on a virtual server (NO problem) and QuickBooks is running on a local machine (or even another VM), and then the remote person is doing an RDP session through VPN to run the local QuickBooks application, that is NO problem either.

For my main client, the workstation belonging to the client remains ON all the time and logged off. I can VPN in, RPD to the workstation and run QuickBooks. I do this somewhat regularly.

All that is forbidden is for a user who is remote with QuickBooks on their computer (like I have) trying to run the company file (server) on their local machine. That can wreck the company file.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dkreines
ID: 39939093
Great info - thanks!
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