Next Step After Remote Access Software...

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by philby, Oct 28, 2010.

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  1. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello All

    I 'do' the IT for my sister, who runs a small interior design shop (UK / 3 people) and has the following set up at her main site:

    LAN behind router
    3 PCs
    'Master' shared folder on one of them for docs/photos
    Office 2007 with local Outlook pst files on each machine

    She has now opened a second shop about 20 miles away and has one new PC situated there

    So that any of the 3 staff can remotely access their machines from the new site, I've set up LogMeIn accounts on each of the original 3 machines.

    All is well except for the obvious limitation of the upload speed on the main shop's connection (it's only 0.3mbps).

    Staff have not taken well to the sluggish response during remote sessions: delay after mouse-clicks, file transfer painfully slow etc.

    I'd just like to know what you think a natural next step would be - going beyond the easy, but not-very-smooth fix of s/w like GoToMyPC, Teamviewer etc that are all hindered by internet speeds.

    How do other small businesses handle access to 'HQ' shared folders and mail?

    Would a VPN be any better? Does she need a server, MS Exchange and MS Small Business Server s/w - and if she did invest in this type of new architecture, would things be any faster?

    Thanks in advance for any simple, low-cost pointers...

    I'm used to experimenting with my machine/network at home, but I have to get this one right from the outset as it's her business.

    philby
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I use gotomypc here and haven't seen any real sluggish issues. That may be a function of the ISP's involved.

    Pete
     
  3. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Would sharing documents on a service like dropbox.com be an option?
    And how about switching to server based email, like imap.

    Basically, this approach would mean moving the data into the cloud as opposed to remote connections.
    Perhaps even Google Docs or MS Office Live would work for you?
     
  4. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Peter - I've had time to read around some more now - I hadn't realised how true your comment is. 0.3mbps is truly dire - I have the same lousy up speed as she does. From what I've now read, most UK home ADSL connections are like this - heavily geared towards download performance.

    ...................................

    wilbertnl - It seems that poor upload speed seriously reduces performance using DropBox as well. It seems that she's not going to get the blazing performance she's after without seriously upgrading her broadband connection.

    Thanks for the IMAP tip - I'm currently testing this using Outlook / Thunderbird on 2 machines at home. This works very well, though as an aside, relocating the IMAP pst files to a non-system drive seems to break something in Outlook - F9 (send/receive) produces a registry-error report that goes away if I relocate the pst back to its default folder.

    ..................................

    Thanks both!

    philby
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  5. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    I'm still trying to get my head around how 'getting a small business server' might be better vis-a-vis remote access speed.

    Reading about SBS 2008 etc, I can only find the obvious: "Users can remotely access programs and data..." - I can't find anything that explains why investing in a server would mean faster remote access compared to the simple method of using remote access s/w like LogMeIn direct to PCs.

    Let's say I buy a machine and set up MS Small Business Server on it and put all the company data there.

    Would remotely accessing this server, presumably through Windows native RDC, necessarily be faster than using LogMeIn, Teamviewer etc to remotely access the discrete machines?

    Isn't ISP down/up speed still the critical speed-limiting factor here either way?

    Still grateful for any pointers...

    philby

    (edited for lousy sentence construction...)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  6. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Philby, in general your doubt seems well founded, The reasoning for a SBS is that it's a dedicated access point, actually it would enable simultaneous working from the office and from remote (which is not the case in your situation, as I understand).

    I don't have experience with SBS solutions, but I strongly doubt that you will gain transfer speed.
     
  7. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Yes - it's a big investment to make without knowing in advance how it would all work and what, if any, speed improvement there would be in terms of accessing files or pulling them down onto a remote machine from a server as compared to another pc.

    I can't see how scenario B would be faster than scenario A:

    A: Remote site client machine > LogMeIn > user works on shared folder 'hosted' on principal machine on main site's wireless LAN

    B: Remote site client machine > RDC > work on shared folder 'hosted' on main site's server

    Thanks for your reply!

    philby
     
  8. redgrum

    redgrum Registered Member

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    That's the 'Asynchronous' part - it's kind of a quirk of the architecture that happily suits most consumers and providers.

    Now, about your sisters problem; you are always going to run into problems when you use a service that turns your ASDL upload into your download speed, especially when there are other people using that upload also.

    You could try tinkering with bandwidth throttling, but my first solution would be to use the slower upload time to your advantage, when the pipes are clear, at night.

    Assuming the staff will spend a whole day at either one store or the other, if they save all their current work/projects into a folder that syncs online, then this will finish overnight and will be available in its entirety the next morning in all locations, using windows live mesh or similar:



    If all of the staff have their current projects in the syncing folder on the main office and their own profiles both on Live and on the new pc in the new shop with the matching shared folder inside, they should have complete access to their work, plus any changes will be backed up to the main office by the next morning.

    In emergencies they could use a remote session, but hopefully they wouldn't need it anymore!

    I'm not sure it is a secure enough service to use for a commercial venture - you'd have to check the online privacy settings, but there are a lot of similar applications out there.
     
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