Remote corporate networking via vpn

November 22, 2012 at 11:33:57
Specs: Windows 7
Dear Responders,
I am the CEO of a small company with 5 divisions, 2 of which are remote. There is also my home office that I wish to be on the company VPN.

We can't afford an IT department, so it is up to me to ask for a network diagram (as specific as possible) that lays out all the hardware required.

My plan is to eventually have an intranet web server, file server, and database server all for internal use. Our external webserver is hosted by a well-known company. Growth must be considered both in hardware and network.

If anyone can give advice, or links to helpful sites, I would be grateful.

To be very specific, I am NOT looking for a solution. I am looking for links to appropriate diagrams and information so that I may talk with contractors with some idea of the subject.

With Thanks,
Jeff


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#1
November 22, 2012 at 12:07:20
At the risk of being rude I must tell you, I won't do what you ask. A big part of the reason why is that it's impossible to do this properly over this forum. Also, we're here to help average people with problems that for the most part, are average. What you're asking for is a complex solution that's going to require quite a bit of work to put together. There is nothing "average" about your request.

I understand you can't afford to have an IT department so the best advice I can give you is to contract this job out to a professional. If you hire a contractor, it's only for the one job, and their association with you ends at the end of said contract. A professional will turn over all documentation to you so that if you feel it necessary at some point in the future (and I promise you, it WILL become necessary at some point) to call in another professional to troubleshoot a problem, they will have all that documentation available to them. This will include setup information, hardware information and login information as well.

You might want to look into hiring a company that does this type of work. A lot of businesses out there will sign a longterm contract with you guaranteeing lower hourly rates for onsite work than if you don't sign a contract with them. Of course, this will involve and annual fee as well as the individual invoices for each onsite visit. I've worked for a company like this in the past and they had many clients like you whom I supported while employed by this company.

Based on the info you've already given I'd estimate (conservatively) 100 man hours to do this project. This includes planning, research & purchasing of equipment, configuration, testing, and finally, deployment. This does not include the cost of hardware.

This of course are just an estimate off the top of my head. To get a truly accurate estimate would require a much more in-depth analysis of the project's requirements. This is why I'm recommending you tender this out to several contractors/companies. I highly recommend doing some serious research into each before signing anything so as to avoid the fly-by-night people/outfits, of which there are many.

You're going to want/need an experience professional who has the right qualificiations and experience who's done this type of job before and guarantees their work.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
November 22, 2012 at 12:20:20
Curt R,

Many thanks for your comprehensive reply. I apologize for not understanding the forum purpose.
Do you know of a more appropriate forum I can visit?

Believe me, I am considering hiring a contractor, and will most likely go that route.
I thought I would ask the question here to get 'smart' as I am naive when it comes to this whole network thing and would prefer to be able to recognize a fairy tale from a documentary.
My fault for not being precise in my post.

Many thanks,
Jeff


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#3
November 22, 2012 at 12:42:10
ijack,

Thank you for your reply. You are correct in stating that each company is different, however there must be many companies in the same or a similar situation as mine.

The rest of your post I will not reply to.

Thanks and regards,
Jeff
Post Script:
Why does anyone search the internet if not to seek answers? Taking action on the answers is another story, don't you agree?


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#4
November 22, 2012 at 14:06:52
I thought I would ask the question here to get 'smart' as I am naive when it comes to this whole network thing and would prefer to be able to recognize a fairy tale from a documentary.

If you review my first post, you'll see I mention hiring a qualified professional or company and doing research on said professional or company before hiring them. Any reputable consultant or company will have a list of references from satisfied customers of theirs that you'll be able to contact. A reputable consultant/company will have also have a licensed business that you can sue if they fail to meet the contract.

Hiring someone who's already "smart" negates the need for you to "get smart".

Besides which, if you don't know enough to do the job yourself, there's no quick "crash course" you can take to learn enough to do so in a few minutes. If you don't speak the language the answers will mean nothing to you. That's why you want/need to hire a professional now. He/she has spent the time and money getting educated in this subject. They "speak the language" that you do not.

I doubt you started your career as a CEO. In order to become one I feel quite sure you started in lower to middle management and worked your way up. As such, I suspect you have had need to hire a contractor or two in the past. Did you try to "get smart" before hiring a contractor in the past, or did you just make it a point to hire a qualified professional?

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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