Centralizing IT Resources for Multiple Locations

Jan 07 2016
POSTED IN Best Practices

When you started your business you may not have given much thought to your IT network should you business expand by adding multiple locations.  When building an office network, it’s important to determine the best foundation for your company’s needs. I hope this blog gives you some tips to get the most out of a stable and secure multi WAN IT network!  science_centralized_300

Having a good IT managed and secure WAN network will decrease systems downtime, decrease the time it takes to trouble shoot infrastructure issues, decreases the chance of intrusion to your company’s systems and the impact this may have, decreases risk to the organization and ultimately increase the productivity of your user community.

First some definitions:

  • Switches connect multiple devices (computers, printers, servers) on the same network within a building. A switch enables connected devices to share information and talk to each other. Building a small office network isn’t possible without switches to tie devices together.

  • Routers tie multiple networks together. When building a small office network, you’ll need one or more routers. A router connects your networked computers to the Internet. This enables all connected computers to share one single Internet connection. A router acts as a dispatcher, choosing the best route for your information to travel. It connects your business to the world, protects information from security threats, and can even decide which computers get priority over others.

  • Managed Server is your own dedicated hosting service that also provides data storage services. In addition, managed servers have their own maintenance and backup systems.

  • IPsec VPN site to site tunnels is defined as a IP secure private internet tunnel configured between two firewalls (routers).

Let’s get started!

  1. Implement a managed server and user network switches and a firewall (router) on the network at your primary office.

  2. Implement user network switches and a firewall (router) on the network at your remote offices.

  3. Configure your VLAN to segregate your servers from your users. This is done by configuring multiple networks on the switches and configuring inter VLAN communication on the network switches.

  4. Invest in business-grade switches and routers for reliable communications. Consumer or home networking products can’t keep pace with the challenges of business growth

  5. Once the network is setup with internet connectivity on all of your company’s locations, on each firewall (router), configure a site to site IPsec tunnel to from the main office to each of the remote locations. This will securely link all your remote locations to your main office via the Internet (WAN).

  6. Now that all users in all remote locations act like they are in the same location as your main office where all servers link (file/print, email, applications) you can share all these resources to the users at the remote locations via the internet using the IPsec site to site tunnel without using any third party remote connect tools which are usually not secure.

Benefits to implementing:

  1. This approach makes trouble shooting network issues easier since you can examine the switch and girewall logs.

  2. This approach also eliminates server hardware cost for the remote locations. Your data center is centralized to one location.

  3. The data being passed through the site to site private tunnel between each location is secure, encrypted and the tunnel is dedicated to your company’s IP traffic.

  4. Increase productivity of your IT staff.

Make sure your network is designed with reliability and redundancy in mind. This provides the business continuity you’ll need to bounce back quickly from unforeseen circumstances.

This approach makes managing your IT more efficient allowing you to get back to your core strengths.  Need help setting this up?  Call Mantralogix at 1-866-320-8922 and we’d be pleased to assist you!

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