Best way to implement 2 remote branch offices ?

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Robbie Booth, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Robbie  Booth

    Robbie Booth Guest

    Hi all,
    We're a small company that is growing fast but as of now we only have 10
    employees spread between the main office and a satellite office. The
    particular challenge I face is that the remote office is where a lot of the
    media production happens, the folks there are mostly on Macs and setting up
    a VPN on each machine is a total pain.

    I just found out that we're opening a second branch office so ideally what
    I'd like to do is to have a server in both of the remote offices which
    handles the VPN connections "transparently" as a bridge to users on the
    network so that it appears as if they're all on the same LAN.

    I appreciate that I can only have one domain controller on my network and
    for the number of users that we have, Small Business Server was just the
    right choice. Now however I'm wondering what the best way to tightly
    integrate those offices is.

    The kinds of services that I need to run are mirrored back up between all
    three locations and integrated digital asset management & file sharing. We
    have to move some large files back and forwards.

    So Can I set up a windows server 2003 in my remote locations, configure it
    to connect to the Small business server at the main office via VPN and then
    by setting it up as the gateway, have all the clients in the remote offices
    connect through it ?

    Sorry if that isn't exactly the clearest. My challenge is to provide "idiot
    proof" connectivity to the file servers here at home office to those folks
    running on macs in the remote locations.
     
    Robbie Booth, Mar 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. Robbie  Booth

    dm Guest

    one way that the MS(MVP) folk will probably not tell you about is to use WAN
    accelerators and purpose driven appliances.

    For example, setting up a site-site VPN with small Cisco PIX or watchGuards
    or ... could be had for a one time cost of <~$500/site, is easily
    expandable, and completely client agnostic.
    WAN "accelerators" like RiverBed, or PacketShaper devices are pricey. The
    cost will likely cause sticker-shock, BUT they are block level caching
    devices that analyze the data stream, "tokenize" it (my term, not theirs)
    and send a pointer. the first transmission includes the data pattern and
    token/pointer. subsequent transmissions only send pointers. This
    tremendously reduces the raw data being transmitted, and creates HUGE
    performance benefits. Thats nice, real nice... but where the real benefit
    lies is not with the reduced traffic or performance benefit per-se, but in
    the fact that in many/most cases, the remote site can consist of the VPN
    appliance and the WAN accellerator. No server. Reduces the amount of
    servers out there. Duplicate data, licensing costs, backup costs,
    maintenance, operation and administration costs are all greatly diminished.,
    and performance, even over a sub-T1 is almost LAN-like. Not just for small
    files, but also for visio, autocad, mpeg, and jpg files.

    You will still want a print server local, either by allowing users to print
    directly to a dedicated print server hardware, or windows print server (the
    little HP JetDirects are just fine, and now there are even little Linksys
    devices available at walmart that work like a champ) Hardware print servers
    can be had for a mere pennies on the dollar for what a Windows server costs.

    Perhaps it seems complicated, perhaps simple, but centralization is the way
    to go when at all possible.
     
    dm, Mar 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. Robbie  Booth

    MDBJ Guest

    I have a sbs server, and offsite, I have three pc's that are connected in a
    peer to peer network
    one of those pc's is vpn'd into the server. but it still can access
    data/apps from the peer to peer.

    if I make all three pc's members of the domain. they should still be able
    to share resources locally..
    the question killing me is, if I lose my internet connection from the remote
    to the server,
    how long do I have before the computers at the remote office stop trusting
    each other?


    Sure, you can setup windows site to site VPN. these links may help,

    Site to Site VPN How to Setup A Windows Site-to-Site VPN Connection How to
    configure one-way site to site VPN Name Resolution in a windows site to site
    VPN ...
    www.chicagotech.net/site%20to%20site%20vpn.htm

    vpn solutions VPN Solutions. 1. Peer to Peer VPN 2. Client to Server
    VPN 3. Site to Site VPN 4. IPSec VPN 5. Exporting VPN Client Settings ...
    www.chicagotech.net/vpnsolutions.htm



    Bob Lin, MS-MVP, MCSE & CNE
    Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on
    http://www.ChicagoTech.net
    How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on
    http://www.HowToNetworking.com
    Hi all,
    We're a small company that is growing fast but as of now we only have 10
    employees spread between the main office and a satellite office. The
    particular challenge I face is that the remote office is where a lot of
    the
    media production happens, the folks there are mostly on Macs and setting
    up
    a VPN on each machine is a total pain.

    I just found out that we're opening a second branch office so ideally what
    I'd like to do is to have a server in both of the remote offices which
    handles the VPN connections "transparently" as a bridge to users on the
    network so that it appears as if they're all on the same LAN.

    I appreciate that I can only have one domain controller on my network and
    for the number of users that we have, Small Business Server was just the
    right choice. Now however I'm wondering what the best way to tightly
    integrate those offices is.

    The kinds of services that I need to run are mirrored back up between all
    three locations and integrated digital asset management & file sharing. We
    have to move some large files back and forwards.

    So Can I set up a windows server 2003 in my remote locations, configure it
    to connect to the Small business server at the main office via VPN and
    then
    by setting it up as the gateway, have all the clients in the remote
    offices
    connect through it ?

    Sorry if that isn't exactly the clearest. My challenge is to provide
    "idiot
    proof" connectivity to the file servers here at home office to those folks
    running on macs in the remote locations.
     
    MDBJ, Mar 29, 2006
    #3
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