Remote VPN/Quickbooks

Daren Anderson, MSIS
Daren Anderson, MSIS used Ask the Experts™
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I have a customer running QB Pro 2013 at their business - there are five users running Windows 7 Pro workstations connected to a Windows 2011 SBS Server; which is running the QB database server.  There is also another small Windows 2012 server attached for running an online reporting software for their customers.  They have two needs when it comes to QB but are related - they need to be able to access the QB data remotely.  We do have a VPN setup thru their Sonicwall but as I have understood in the past the only way that this will work is once connected thru the VPN, they need to remote to another system in the network to run QB.  However when I was speaking to our accountant, he said we could do:
 Laptop:
1.  VPN to server
2.  On laptop - map network drive to QB file
3.  On laptop - open up QB.

Server:
1.  Load QB Database server
2.  QB file loaded on shared drive
3.  Allow VPN from laptop
4.  Allow mapped network drive to shared drive

However I really don't know how to do this and he is unavailable - is this a viable solution?  If not, what can we do if they want to hire three people to work remotely - then we would have to have three other systems just sitting there??  Can we do something with that Server 2012?
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Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer

Commented:
Hi Daren,

You could utilize the VPN to allow the user to connect up to his computer at the office (If he has one) and work remotely that way. This would allow him to work the same way at home as he could locally at the office.

My thought is that he is thinking of having a terminal server which is basicly a Virtual machine which he could vpn to and work directly on the document. You would set the terminal server up the same as a regular workstation, map drives to his QB file which would still reside on the server. This would eliminate him having to connect up to his work computer(again, if he has one).

From what I'm aware of, there is no way you can map a drive to your local computer through a VPN RDP connection - I think he has his wires crossed or has been trolled by a reddit post!

Hopefully this gives you some ideas!
I've done similar setups, bandwidth is gonna kill you unless it's a tiny company file, even with the DB server peice (it always seems more like a DB relayer to me).

I've ended up installing a Hyper-V machine or two in every case. (don't do hyperV on the SBS machine that's a bad plan).
just enable RDP and they can terminalin to the VM through the RWW built into SBS2011

Author

Commented:
The problem is that the user only has one system and if he/she takes that home, then there is no way to connect to at the office.  Also, if the other users never had a system at the business.....so basically what you are saying is that we are going to have to connect three other systems (or whatever the number) to the network so people can remote desktop into those?
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Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer

Commented:
No - I recommend using terminal servers

Author

Commented:
Quoted text:  I've ended up installing a Hyper-V machine or two in every case. (don't do hyperV on the SBS machine that's a bad plan).
 just enable RDP and they can terminalin to the VM through the RWW built into SBS2011

Is this two separate things?  Not sure about RWW?
terminal servers are expensive, it's a far better way to go, If the budget would support it, by all means.

You said you had a 2012 server, you can install included Hyper-v, than a couple virtual machine, no hardware required. and windows7 and 10 are pretty reasonably priced. and will allow you to join to the domain.
Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer
Commented:
So yes, what Andrew is saying is a good idea.

Utilize hyper-V and install windows 7 or windows 10 as virtual machines and create VPN's to those virtual machines allowing it to basically act as a terminal server. Works in the same way and cost is saved vs implementing terminal servers.
You don't really need a VPN with SBS2011 RWW (remote web workplace) and internal machine(virtual) the connection requires SSL,

not to say VPN is bad, just not required, it's also built into SBS 2011 if you want to use the Microsoft VPN stuff.

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