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Virtual Office

By joseph1 ·
I just became MIS for a company that has almost all of it's users connecting to the office over RAS and different ways such as PC Anywhere. The major problems are with backing up, connectivity, and syncronisation. Also most connections should be secure and through the internet. I know that there are a lot of different ways about doing allthis, but I need the advice of what works from who did it.
Thanks for the expert help that we all get here (or hope to get).

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Virtual Office

by bruceh In reply to Virtual Office

Get rid of PCAnywhere have all users dial-in using RAS and Setup a Citrix box so all users can be setup to use anything you guys give them permission to use. Everything will be on the Citrix box and will run fast over slow lines. You only have to backup the Citrix box and the server. Make a network drive their data repository so it gets backed up too.

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Virtual Office

by joseph1 In reply to Virtual Office

This much I already know. what I need is real world experience of the ups and down of the thing.

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Virtual Office

by erikdr In reply to Virtual Office

We also combine RAS and Citrix (well mostly Terminal Services, free with W2K) but gradedly:
* MS Office etc. runs locally on the users PC. Much faster than through RDP/ICA, and no permanent connection needed. However the master copy of the data is on the office, so if they want that others read their updates they HAVE to dial-in again and synchronise (Briefcase or Offline Folders).
* Databases etc. is through RDP/ICA.

The direct RAS dial-in is slowly being replaced by Internet VPN. The mechanism is the same, just the tunneling in the Internet with extra encryption.

Hope this helps,

<Erik> - The Netherlands

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Virtual Office

by joseph1 In reply to Virtual Office

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Virtual Office

by shmaltz In reply to Virtual Office

I use VPN and terminal services to accomplish the above.
Our company uses a custom program, MS office, quick books plus a payroll program (employee login and logout).
We have no problem in what you mention you want to accomplish:
1. Backup, we have 4 servers, 2 Domain Controllers (DC)(one of them is also a File server and the other a print server), 1 VPN/Terminal Server (TS), 1 application server (SQL, IIS, Exchange). when a user logs on to the VPN/TS the only thing the user gets from the network thru the VPN/TS is the TS desktop (which includes all the programs), all the data is stored on the DC that is also the file server, that machine has a Hardware controlled 3 disk RAID 5 HDC, and a Backup drive with a backup program that handles the backup. Evry thing that any user saves is saved on the file server, since the home directory is also on the file server.
2. Connectivity, since the connection is over TS there is no problem of connectivity since TS makes it look as if the user is loged on localy. However I found 1 thing to a bit of a problem and that is; printing. Not all printers (I'm talking about printers connected to the clients local computer) will work over TS (even win2000 terminal services which uses RDP 5.0). Even when the prinder does work there is a problem with large print jobs that have to travel over slow links.
3. Syncronisation, this problem does not exist with the above setup.
4. Security, while micorosft states that their PPTP is secure enough, not every one agrees on that, check out http://www.counterpane.com.
PPTP in windows 2000 I think is much more secure than winNT 4.0. IPSEC is the most secure solution for a secure VPN envirnment. I use Windows 2000 PPTP and RDP security.

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Virtual Office

by shmaltz In reply to Virtual Office

One of the problems I did have with TS was quick books pro 2000, and this problem is also on any win2000 installation not only TS, that Quick Books Pro 2000 (not any other version) will require me to give Administrative privilige for anyone using Quick Books 2000 (what I did was that I made that users part of the LOCAL administartors group), but other than that any other program ran as if it whould of been installed on a local machine.

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Virtual Office

by shmaltz In reply to Virtual Office

I disagree with what one of the previous answers said that; office runs faster than over ica/rdp. if you have a good machine for the terminal server than terminal server is faster than after saving it to the local machine you will have to trasfer itover VPN.

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Virtual Office

by shmaltz In reply to Virtual Office

One more thing.
Hardware VPN sollutions are faster than software VPN but they cost a lot more. If you can afford it get it.

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Virtual Office

by joseph1 In reply to Virtual Office

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Virtual Office

by joseph1 In reply to Virtual Office

This question was auto closed due to inactivity

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