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Small Business Networking?

    Question

  • I have Windows 7 Professional installed on 3 computers sharing data on a server with Windows Server 2003 R2. We use Microsoft Office 2010, QuickBooks Pro 2010, & Xactimate 25 on the 3 computers and share the data via "Networked Drives". The problem i have is that Xactimate and Quickbooks Pro do not seem to work properly most of the time and are unstable. Is there a better way to network these computers to share data? I use Hamachi. I just want a fast and stable network that these programs can work well on. Also we all connect to this Data through an internet connection. Please give me your thoughts on what the best way is to set this network up!
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:59 AM

Answers

  • I never like using software over a VPN. In my experience, VPN don't seem strong or faster enough to transfer the data across to internet for the software to operate.

    I think you should install all the software onto the server and use the server to log in directly to it and use the software from the server. This is called Terminal Services. Without going into a big lesson, you are simply connecting to the server in a method as though you were using the  servers keyboard, mouse and monitor.

    Using Terminal services, there is generally no need for a VPN connection, as well as a reduction on the load of data being transferred over the internet connections.

    For more information, read this:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/remote-desktop-services-benefits.aspx

     Hope this has been helpful.


    Daniel B IT Technician / Network Administrator
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 8:17 AM

All replies

  • It sounds like you have a pretty common network setup. most of my clients are setup in a similar method.

    Is your Windows Server a domain controller? Are your computers join to the domain?

    What network equipment do you use? Network Switch? What modem/router do you use for the internet/?

    Generally the setup I would implement is your Windows Server as a domain controller with the 3 workstations
    connecting and being managed by the Domain Controller (DC).

    I would have all you software packages stored on the Windows Server and have the clients
    pointing to the server.

    Ensure you are using quality network swicthes and routers. Cheap network gear can give poor network
    performance even network dropouts.

    Both Quickbooks and Xactimate will work fine from the server.

    In terms of accessing the data from the internet, are you looking to just work on your computer from Home or
    have others access the data? Please provide some more information about this. 


    Daniel B IT Technician / Network Administrator
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:46 AM
  • Thanks for the quick reply! The 3 computers are at home locations. We all have our own home offices and share data on a single server using "Logmein Hamachi VPN Client". The server is hooked to the internet through At&t DSL service & Router and only runs at 4-5 mbps. I have Cable internet with turbo boost that runs at 18 mbps on a "G" netgear router. Should they both be using the same interenet service? As for the modem in the computers I believe they are just a standard modem. I do have the softwares (QuickBooks Pro & Xactimate) except microsoft office installed on the server and their local data stored there as well. Should I keep using "Logmein Hamachi VPN Client" & Should I change out the routers to "N" routers and get a faster internet service on the server? Note: I installed Xactimate on my computer at home and set it up to store and share the data on the network but when I run the program it says "Unable to connect to database. Reason 'Could not connect to Server 'file-server\Xactware'. But when I go to "My Computer" and double click "Xactimate (\\FILE-SERVER) (X:)" network drive its all there and opens. I'm confused! Thanks for your help!!!
    Jesse Jones
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:58 PM
  • I never like using software over a VPN. In my experience, VPN don't seem strong or faster enough to transfer the data across to internet for the software to operate.

    I think you should install all the software onto the server and use the server to log in directly to it and use the software from the server. This is called Terminal Services. Without going into a big lesson, you are simply connecting to the server in a method as though you were using the  servers keyboard, mouse and monitor.

    Using Terminal services, there is generally no need for a VPN connection, as well as a reduction on the load of data being transferred over the internet connections.

    For more information, read this:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/remote-desktop-services-benefits.aspx

     Hope this has been helpful.


    Daniel B IT Technician / Network Administrator
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 8:17 AM