Remote office connecting to main office domain server

By lee ·
Our client now has a small research office which contains 2 XP Pro workstations which are on there own peer network. The client wants these 2 machines to have direct access to the domain as if they were physically located at the head office.
The workstations will need to have direct access to the shares on the server through drive mapping just like any other workstation on the domain network would have. The workstations will be used to do data recordings which will be approximately 3 to 4 gig in size. Each day these recordings will need to be moved to the remote server share that will be used for storing and viewing etc. Doctors will be viewing the files from these 2 workstations for diagnoses and writing up reports and recommendations.
What would be the most efficient way to to do this?

Any help, advise or suggestions would be very much appreciated.



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VPN or dedicated line

by oldbaritone In reply to Remote office connecting ...

You didn't mention how far apart (physically) the two offices were. I'm assuming that they are far enough apart that you couldn't do anything simple like string a fiberoptic connection between two adjacent buildings.

Two simple options to accomplish this at a distance would be VPN or leased data connection. Each has pros and cons.

VPN - readily available, relatively inexpensive, relatively secure. Install internet connection at both offices with VPN capability, set up the network structure and use VPN to link them. With a good-quality VPN router, the VPN part is completely transparent to the user. Speed could be an issue, particularly if you try to use low-end DSL lines. Usually more bandwidth = more cost.

Leased/dedicated data lines. This could take many variations, from a fractional T1 to "the sky is the limit." A major advantage is that because it's point-to-point, there are fewer security exposures than on VPN. The disadvantage is usually cost.

Wireless may also be an option, although because you mentioned "doctors" I'm guessing the system deals with medical records and many forms of wireless are not very secure.

If you don't know where to begin, try contacting a couple of local data service providers and find out what they would suggest. Beware of long-term commitments and termination fees, because requirements change and the office might need something completely different sooner than you think.

Good luck.

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