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[Server 2008] Remote Access to Shared Network Drives


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#1 b4dh3r0

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:24 PM

Hi,

    I'm a systems admin at a moderately sized call-center. We need to be able to access files hosted on our office server from our warehouse. I don't have much server experience, so I am curious how is best to go about doing this. The server is located behind a Sonicwall router. Now, the files we are accessing are just database files, no streaming video or anything like that. That said, in my research, I have found that going the route of the VPN is the obvious choice. With that in mind, how do I setup the VPN? Do I have to set it up through the router and the windows server management? I don't want to use any extra software (logemein, etc.) because I know the router has VPN capabilities and it will likely only be a handful of external clients. Suggestions?

 

Mod Edit: Moved topic from the 7 forum to the more appropriate forum. ~bloopie


Edited by bloopie, 16 September 2013 - 09:42 PM.


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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:36 PM

we use IPsec and Open VPN... both have their uses, and huge web pages explaining what they are and how they work.

 

VPN capability is just that, a capability, you will still need software...

 

I really suggest you speak with your development team for this. It's not something that can be explained on a forum site, and as it opens your server to outside access it will require IT management authority too. (you could be unwittingly breaking the law and putting yourself in line for law suits).

 

Good luck, and keep on reading!



#3 b4dh3r0

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:22 AM

I just ran a test run on my home server using my own VPN and PPTP. I need to be able to map a drive from our office to our warehouse computer. Now, in regards to the subject of IT management authority and/development team - we have neither. I'm a hardware tech that got hired under the illusion of a training environment only to find our that there existed no IT department. I'm learning as I go, but I will definately do some research on the legality of my endeavors.



#4 TsVk!

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:06 AM

That's a pretty hard call mate. I feel for you.

 

Do you have an intranet? or just using a database server?



#5 chrisd87

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:04 AM

If you want to go the VPN route on your server, then here is a guide to walk you through enabling vpn capabilities on server 2008. Set your office server to be the vpn, and then use pptp to access server from your warehouse.

 

*Note, that using pptp is less secure as say openvpn, but having a good firewall in place will aide in your security*

 

http://www.buchatech.com/2010/06/how-to-setup-vpn-access-on-server-2008/

 

You can also setup Openvpn on a Windows server. It takes a lot more work and knowledge of keys and certificates, but it can be done.


Edited by chrisd87, 17 September 2013 - 07:12 AM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#6 b4dh3r0

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:54 AM

Excellent! This should help. I have a solid understanding of VPN but not so much when it comes to server configuration. Thanks!



#7 b4dh3r0

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:56 AM

@TsVk!

 

Just LAN and database server.



#8 chrisd87

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:05 AM

Excellent! This should help. I have a solid understanding of VPN but not so much when it comes to server configuration. Thanks!

Anytime, let us know if you need anymore help.


"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#9 technonymous

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:42 AM

I wouldn't use PPTP VPN as of 2012 that protocol's security is no longer considered safe to use. In a business data base environment this = bad. You need a Microsoft 2008 or better server to handle IPsec VPN protocol, or use Linux. Or you can use third party software such as OpenVPN which has a nice Virtual Appliance that works well in windows or linux and comes with 2 users free more users you have to pay for the licensing. There is also other flavors of open source 3rd party software that work on windows like Openssh for windows, Copssh, Mobassh all also have a pay version for better support and options. A good robust professional grade one like http://www.bitvise.com/ssh-server works well on windows. For 150 bucks or so for 1 server and 1 client licensing which isn't all that bad for server software.



#10 b4dh3r0

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:26 AM

Yeah, I know about PPTP security faults. I just haven't had that much xp working in enterprise networking so I I was running a test environment from my home. We have Server '08 so IPSec shouldn't be an issue. Since it will only be 1-2 external users, I will most likely try OpenVPN and maybe upgrade to something as we need. The company is pretty small right now, but I try to always keep an eye on scalability. Thanks for the tips technonymous! I'll check out bitvise in the future.



#11 technonymous

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:50 PM

Just want to touch more on the OpenVPN. The virtual OpenVPNAS (access server) is basically built & designed to run on 2008's Hyper-V. With that said, the Windows 2008/12 Server will also need a computer that has 64bit and virtualization compatible cpu. A newer machine or home built computer built with an Intel i5 or AMD quad or better support this virtualization in the BIOS. Once you have all those the OpenVPNAS can be imported into the Hyper-V adminstration tools and GPO area on windows 2008/2012 server. You can also install hyper-v tools into windows 7 not the sever part of it, but the tools to remotely control the Virtual OS's. it sort of like RDP for you Hyper-V's. As far as the other software out there like copssh etc are mostly based off the emulated cygwin bash console and need putty ssh/telnet client to access it. SSH is powerful indeed once everything is configured correctly. RDP, Web proxy, WinSCP for sftp all work well. Most VPN on lookers see SSH as a poor mans VPN. lol


Edited by technonymous, 18 September 2013 - 03:50 PM.


#12 b4dh3r0

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

Anything that allows better integration with current systems is preferable. I am wondering, is there a way, once connected to the VPN, that I can make a drive from the server location to the client computer?



#13 chrisd87

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

If you are using AD, you can map a users home folder to a network share. From there it should be available to any computer that the user logs on to.


"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 


#14 b4dh3r0

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:06 AM

Great! This should be enough to get us started. I got a few ieas and at least have a little better understanding of how this al works. I just finished my home server lab so I can run some test environments. Thanks for all the help! This will make my life a lot easier and I'll no doubt learn a good amount.



#15 chrisd87

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:31 AM

If you can learn active directory (AD) and Group Policy (GP), you can land a very stable job as a sys admin with only having experience *which you already are.* Having the experience however, may be able to justify you getting a bonus.

 

You can do so much with gpos and gpps that you wouldn't think would be possible.

 

For example, we just locked down the installation of IE 10.0 because of all the issues it has using GPO and assigned it to our OU's in AD.

 

If you need any help along the way, feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

 

What kind of setup are you using for your home test lab?


Edited by chrisd87, 19 September 2013 - 10:36 AM.

"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver ɹoɹɹǝ."

 





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