Setting Up a Satellite Office in a Shared Space

There’s a good chance that we’ll have 3 users working at a satellite office (SO) before the end of the year. In the past, each remote office was a completely stand-alone LAN with their own server, phones, etc. To help keep costs down, we’ll likely just have them remotely connected, but this is where I need some suggestions.

1 user is currently working at the SO the part time, but has mentioned that his VPN connection via SonicWall’s NetExtender utility can be slow when opening large files (>10 MB).

Since we’ll continue sharing space, Internet, printers & plotters with the existing tenant, that also throws in another level of complexity.

We're an engineering firm that does a lot of CAD drafting, so something like LogMeIn doesn't seem like a viable solution due to video & input peripheral lag.

Ideally, we would like them to have access to all files from the Main Office, but minimizing the file open/save lag.

Thanks in advanced for thoughts & suggestions!
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Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Have you thought of moving the files to a private / hybrid cloud?
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
My suggestion would be to:
- configure vlans in the shared office; one for shared printers, other vlans for each company
- connect install a NAS such as a qnap at each site.
- configure file synch on each NAS

By doing this, files are local and the latency for opening files is reduced to almost zero.
blugirlAuthor Commented:
Jackie Man, briefly, but I wasn't sure how the file access speed would work for our CAD folks that need as little lag as possible.  How are access speeds & costs?
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blugirlAuthor Commented:
Nappy_d, how would you recommend addressing the file sync? Also, the existing tenant's network at the RO isn't ours so I'd prefer not to make any modifications to their network.  Is a way to accomplish this without touching their configs?
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Unfortunately, to communicate back to your Home office for file synch, I strongly recommend a site-site VPN be setup for this to be accomplished.  This is the securest way to have access to your files.

Since you already have a Sonicwall at the main site, consider a setup such as this at the remote office.  I don't think you would need anything more than a TZ105 for the RO to complete this setup.  Config a site-site VPN between your offices.

I've used this before to do file synch because of this exact same scenario you present and it woks great.

Here is some information on My suggestion for remote NAS file sync with QNAP CLICK HERE

PS. I strongly suggest that you do not simply open ports across the WAN to make this work if you go forth with file synch between NAS boxes across the WAN.

I hope this helps...
   Sample Network Config
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Hi, just a bump to see how you are coming along with this post and do you need any additional information?
blugirlAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delayed response as I've been swamped with this project.  The satellite office will be going live at the end of this week.  We ended up upgrading our main office server from 2003 to 2012 R2 then setup another server for the remote office with Windows handling the file replication between sites using DFS Replication.  That way, if the remote office loses Internet connectivity, they're still functioning as if they're on the LAN.

We also took advantage of the secondary office for replicating backups offsite & loaded them up with a Synology & a bunch of HDDs for the additional storage.

We'll use Sonicwalls to VPN between office.  I have a network consultant helping with sharing the tenant's printers out there.

I think we're on our way now!  Thanks again for the feedback! :)

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blugirlAuthor Commented:
It's what worked for us
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