New remote work solution needed

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by serpretetsky, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is not strictly networking. Please feel free to move it if this is the wrong place.

    I need ideas
    Small company I work for has most of their tech infrastructure in-house (email server, smb share, etc etc).
    We need to move it into the "cloud" so that employees can work remotely from home (that's not the only reason).

    The problems I'm having are with Quickbooks2013pro and Microsoft Access97, everything else is not really a problem. Currently both are accessed on the SMB share. Access97 is just opened directly from SMB, Quickbooks is first copied locally, launched, edits are made, and then it's saved back to the share. Access97 is mostly edited by only one employee, Quickbooks is edited by two routinely.

    Because our office is so tiny, this works more or less (people just coordinate with eachother who is working on the Quickbooks). This is not going to work anymore.

    I'm trying to find solutions to this. Our budget is below 40$/month (the lower the better). My brainstorming has come up with several ideas. I don't particularly like any of them.

    1) Just put everything on google drive and have everyone use some sort of "file locking" procedure whenever they need to access a resource. Need to use quickbooks? Create a lock file nameed "IN_USE_BY_SERPRETETSKY", download the QuickBooks files, do your work, upload your files, erase the lock file. This is pretty ugly and clunky, but there is not much setup and for 100GB of google drive we only pay 2$/month. Probably can't use google sync.

    2) Rent a VPS, install windows, quickbooks, and access97 on it, and remotely login whenever someone wants to work on their stuff. I would probably want to put a firewall and a VPN server in front of that. Vultr has VPS for $5/month, if I rented one for VPN and one as the VPS server and purchased their backup plan it would be about $12/month. The other problem is if i use regular windows I believe only one RDP session is supported. But I'm not sure if access97 and quickbooks 2013 pro will work fine on a server version of windows, I'll also don't know where to get a cheap copy of windows server. This is more complex and would take me a while to setup. It also is more complex and means harder to fix if something breaks (im not gonig to be working here much longer, it will be up to my boss to fix it then). I would probably still buy 100GB $2/month of google drive for other files.

    3) Transition to quickbooks online and figure something else out for Access97. This would be like 30$/month, plus I was surprised to learn you cant download a local backup company of your quickbooks stuff. I don't like putting all of my trust in one place, I'd prefer to be able to backup local copies of the data just in case. I would probably still buy 100GB $2/month of google drive for other files.

    Anyone have other ideas?
     
  2. SJConsultant

    SJConsultant 2[H]4U

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    Why are you not using QuickBooks Pro in multiuser mode to allow multiple people simultaneous access to the data?
     
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  3. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 2[H]4U

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    Holy smokes talk about mountains out of mole-hills.

    Just get Quickbooks online... I can guarantee by the sounds of this post that the data availability and protection far exceeds what you are currently providing.

    You also have a major security concern - one disgruntled employee could sabotage the company data as it currently stands.
     
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  4. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    I believe we would need to buy another license. I would still need to figure out a good solution (remote desktop to a rented server i guess )
    I'm not the quickbooks guy, I can check with our boss what he thinks of it, I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet. I still would need to figure out a solution for access97 separately. I'm not concerned with disgruntled employees.

    Thanks for feedback guys.
     
  5. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 2[H]4U

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    If you need remote access, the simplest solution is an SSL VPN back to the office and allow them to run the applications natively just as they were on the office. You'd have to do some configuration to get started, but once it's set, you're good to go. This also depends on the firewall you have at the office.

    With an SSL VPN, your users can still access the SMB share by IP address. The SSL VPN client will tunnel traffic with proper matching destination IP addresses to go across the encrypted link.
     
  6. stormy1

    stormy1 Gawd

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    rdp over vpn to a local computer.
    quickbooks runs fine on ms server os.
    Running quickbooks on a cheap vps?? crazy....
    Copying quickbooks file back and forth... crazy, store it on the a server or even a as a last resort workstation(back up often either way) with the connector software running and one person accessing it at a time.
     
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  7. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the recommendations guys. The reason I need to move stuff into the "cloud" is because we're not really going to have an office any more. So the local server or workstation would be a machine at one of the employees residential houses using their residential internet and relying on their residential power. I thought maybe a $5/month VPS from someone like VULTR might be a better solution then having a workstation at one of the residents' homes, using their internet, but Im not sure.
     
  8. Cmustang87

    Cmustang87 2[H]4U

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    Oh, wow... yea.

    Just move to Quickbooks online. Seems kind of silly that you are opposed to using Quickbooks online, but open to paying for a VPS. Just go with the software company's online option and you are good to go.
     
  9. scobar

    scobar .

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    How many users?
     
  10. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    3 users
     
  11. scobar

    scobar .

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    Doing a simular thing for a client some years ago, we stood up a w2k3 server(their specs) and then deployed it as a terminal server. QuickBooks and whatever else they needed was here, their accountant was also able to log in. Something like this could be done in the cloud, theirs was hosted on prem.
     
  12. Motley

    Motley 2[H]4U

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    LOL you weren't kidding when you said "small company".
     
  13. scobar

    scobar .

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    And they will want the world for the least amount of money.
     
  14. modi123

    modi123 2[H]4U

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    For 'Access97' - push it off into a MSSQL community edition server. At worst hit it with a basic CRUD .NET app..