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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 & structure

by Ben P M Laauwen (CMC) In reply to Virtual Office

In order to give some meaningfull advice, a little more should be known about the organisational structure of the office. The ITC structure and associated procedures should support the structure and provide some consistency in the behaviour of the virtual members.
Back up in this environment should be made responsibility of the user (PC owner). The most prominent way today seems to be the CD. The medium is the most reliable over time. Most other (magnetic) media do not hold and will have to berefreshed.
I cannot comment on the other two elements without a little more insight in your organisation.
Hope this helps a little.

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virtual office

by ARG CIO In reply to Virtual Office

For security over the internet your best answer is Virtual Private network (VPN). Checkpoint has a nice system, and Cisco's seems to be one of the top dogs too. But as always, budget can be an issue. The default "Microsoft VPN" seems to work pretty nicely, for occasional use, but for many users, will be more headache than it is worth! PC anywhere can be an issue for security, it does have some securtiy holes in it, and people are always scanning for open servers.

As far as backup, worry about your server, and if they don't get the files on your server, it is NOT your issue! You cannot manage remote users for backup. You can set policy, and make recommendations, but don't take responsiblility, it will bite you. Tell the users, the best way to keep the data safe, is to have it on the server! On the server, with backup, and there is little chance of loosing more than a days work. keep it on a laptop, with users in charge of backup, and weeks, or months of work can be gone inseconds! I agree with the statement above, for connectivity. Need more info. Broadband solutions ARE recommended! They are more expensive, but people can do their work faster... with "syncronisation" I am assuming you mean files and data. Synchronizing files can be done in many ways. I recommend that the users keep their files on their local machine, and at the end of each session, copy them up to the server.. this can be done with a batch file over VPN, or manually with PC Anywhere, or manually thru email even.

So, to summarize, get a VPN solution for your internet users! RAS is fine, broadband is better. PC anywhere, take it or leave it, but evaluate it. backup your server, and tell the users you can ONLY guarantee that files on the server are safe, and current within 24 hours (or less). I hope this helped! Congratulations, and good luck!

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Virtual Office solutions

by rjjodoi In reply to virtual office

I am not sure if this is advice or another question.

We are starting to look at a thin client solution (Citrix or Tarantella)for desktop management in our classrooms. However, my thought is that a thin client solution would also work very well for a virtual office or virtual classroom solution as well. The thin client could be accessed from a dial up line or via a high speed internet connection. I don't believe that you would need to worry about VPN because you would be using a web browser to access the company site and would need to have an account to get access. Backup and Syncronization problems would be solved by saving data files to the server.

Well just a thought. Like I said we are just starting to look into this solution and I am sure there are many issues that we have not come accross. Any thoughts are welcome.

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