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Remote workers

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by jamoor, May 25, 2018.

  1. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    I run a small office with less than 8 users, we just have a peer to peer network with a Synology nas for file sharing and storage.(mapped network drives)

    Two of these employees are likely to become remote workers, I can manage everything except the file sharing on the nas. What would be the ideal situation here, to move all of the files to a cloud storage solution? We have 30 meg up and down with a fibre DSL backup so bandwidth won't be an issue as they're only word docs etc.
    I see Dropbox does na enterprise solution, there is also OneDrive but that's not really a substitute for mapped network drives.

    Is there any other solution that anyone can think of?

    Thanks
     
  2. andy_mk3

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 5, 2009

    Posts: 8,164

    Location: Lincolnshire

    What about a site to site vpn?
     
  3. Hellsmk2

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,256

    Are they going to work from home? If so, does your router/firewall have SSL VPN capability? Wouldn't do a ipsec/site to site vpn if they are home based.
     
  4. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    Is this where you have two routers that make a VPN between each other?
    They will work from a remote office. So my firewall does have SSL vpn and ipsec. So that could work?
     
  5. nightmare99

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2006

    Posts: 3,645

    What type of files? If its mainly office documents I would perhaps look at moving to Microsoft 365. Or perhaps a Meraki Firewall at the main office with their Z series remote worker gateway at the remote office.
     
  6. marin

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 650

    Location: Reykjavík - Iceland

  7. EssexBoy

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 13, 2013

    Posts: 660

    Location: Essex/East London

  8. Sparky__H

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2004

    Posts: 2,069

    Location: Sea of Dirac

    What do you use as a firewall?
    If it's a decent vendor like Check Point or Fortinet you can use their IPSec VPN clients.
     
  9. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,085

  10. jamoor

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 22, 2005

    Posts: 8,242

    Location: Nottinghamshire

    It a soniwall 205 so it should have all of the features. The meraki looks like a good idea as it seems easy to use.

    Is the cloudsync ideal? Surely I am just better off using dropbox if I am going to sync my synology with dropbox, or am I missing something.
     
  11. Hellsmk2

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,256

    All of your options sound viable tbh.

    If you want absolute simplicity, then dropbox would be the way to go. A little more control, then Synology VPN. Assuming you wanted complete control, then I'd go with IPSEC between the firewalls which would also have the benefit of allowing you to control whatever desktops / clients were at the remote offices.
     
  12. aowc02

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 13, 2009

    Posts: 261

    Location: Princes Risborough

    if you have 365 for emails, an E1/E3/E5 package will give everyone access to 1TB personal cloud storage (one drive) and a Shared 1TB for SharePoint (group cloud share)

    both are well polished products :)
     
  13. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 22,013

    Location: Surrey and London

    Something to consider is whether they will be using company equipment to connect (and how you will lock it down). Or will they be using their own PC? How will you prevent or reduce the risk of malware being introduced onto the company network?
     
  14. Sp00n

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 18,058

    Location: Brighton

    Nextcloud?
     
  15. NiCkNaMe

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 17, 2005

    Posts: 2,978

    Instead of faffing with VPNs, if it stacks up financially, grab the org. an O365 business premium sub for the 8 users:

    https://products.office.com/en-gb/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=2

    If it stacks up, move all the org wide files into a SharePoint site and share that way, and any personal files into OneDrive. In turn this will cover you for Office licensing (consolidating cost if you use this already) and you'll get other features, e.g. Skype/Teams which could be beneficial in a remote working situation (i.e. still creating that virtual environment). Further still, not sure what you are using for email but you could stick all of that into Exchange Online with the Business Premium subscription and consolidate that too. That way, any users requiring access can go to portal.office.com and access files remotely via the web, or still use the thick apps if needed.
     
  16. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 13, 2005

    Posts: 13,761

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    I think the Synology NAS idea would be best. While Office 365 looks great on paper I’ve had issues with files disappearing and the number of people who don’t appear to be able to keep their passwords secure is very concerning, so if it was my business, I’d still want to keep my data close.
     
  17. NiCkNaMe

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 17, 2005

    Posts: 2,978

    It's 2018 not 2008.. Office 365 is used by enterprises globally at much greater scale than small businesses to great success. A single password as auth would never be a recommendation, you'd be looking to use MFA alongside threat management. A password is still a SPOF if you're using a NAS and then VPN to connect unless that solution also includes MFA.

    Office 365 is also hosted in globally managed data centres with numerous local accreditations (soft and hard) which would give a business much more assurances than a person configuring a NAS and VPN solution probably in an office space that's open, hot (at the mo!) and at risk of attack due to lack of patching etc .
     
  18. WJA96

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 13, 2005

    Posts: 13,761

    Location: Norfolk, South Scotland

    I recently did a contract with a huge Danish pork company and we had one member of staff that couldn’t log on to Office 365 for almost a month. Microsoft accepted that the account had been set up properly but simply couldn’t make it work. On one occasion an entire factory was offline for an entire day and only people who had laptops with the actual applications installed could do any work. And there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do. We were completely and utterly at the mercy of Microsoft who host the system. I will NEVER put myself in that position again.

    We had Systems go down and we lost work that had been saved, we had emails delayed by days. It’s almost impossible to explain the impact of someone at a customer who was vehemently saying that I was a liar because this was 2018 and e-mails always arrive within a few minutes. And yet, they didn’t. And again, nothing could be done because it’s all handled by Microsoft.

    Office 365 might be a great idea but the actual execution isn’t ready and you’d need your head looking at if you put your faith in a Microsoft to run your business systems.

    Your experience might vary but that doesn’t make my point of view any less valid.
     
  19. NiCkNaMe

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 17, 2005

    Posts: 2,978

    My experience comes from working with 100's of clients using Office 365 successfully. There are always issues, but these also exist when you implement technology on-premises (otherwise why would IT depts exist if it was fire and forget!!) and the business is at the beck and call of an internal IT department. I'd trust Microsoft to provide better support than a traditional set of on-premises 'its my way or the highway' IT dudes :p

    Also - sounds like whoever set that particular implementation of Office 365 up needs their head looking at. Whilst Microsoft do indeed host/support the back-end, the integration you have into your on-premises solutions (e.g. email hybrid, identity federation/sync, etc.) is critical to ensure a robust configuration. Often many IT pros who are inexperienced in the world of cloud struggle with this, hence a poor implementation and user experience (which I do agree, tends to taint the opinion going forward)

    I suggest you re-visit and up your skills (especially if you're a wintel person) as cloud is here to stay, it makes no sense for organisations to invest time and effort in outdated skills and on-premises infrastructure when they just want a service.
     
  20. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 2,115

    Not only is Cloud here to stay, it's coming in like a steam train! Anyone implementing local Exchange in 2018 needs to be challenged very robustly.