• United States

Offsite networking

Nov 25, 20023 mins

Nutter helps a user who wants to save money when setting up a temporary remote office location.

I work for a government agency and will be setting up a temporary office that will be open for about a year. Current procedures say I should contact the communications department in the state capital and have them connect this temporary office into the frame network that runs statewide. My concern is that since this office will be open for about a year, I am looking at install costs from the state folks at over $2,000. This doesn’t address what they want to charge us on a monthly basis for this connection. Since the office I am working out of is on the state frame network, is there a way we can connect this office to the temporary one using DSL? I want this office to be able to reach the servers we have at my office as well as be able to reach anything on the state network. This temporary office will have five or fewer people in it most of the time

– Via the Internet

What you want is doable. The first thing to ask the state communications folks is if they can work with the local exchange carrier (LEC) in your area to connect this remote office into the state network using DSL into their frame backbone. Some LECs use frame relay as the transport method for DSL, so this could be fairly easy to do.

If this isn’t possible, another solution is to put a DSL connection at the temporary office and another one at your current location. You can get a small DSL router/firewall that will have VPN capabilities from companies such as MultiTech, Zxyel and SMC. Those are just a few candidates in the $200-and-under class that will allow you to protect both offices from intruders and allow you to connect the two offices securely.

For this to work, the state communications folks will need to work with you. They will need to assign a subnet for this remote office and have it routable via the IP address you will assign to the LAN address of whatever router/firewall device you choose for the temporary office link. If they aren’t open to this option, you might still be able to get it done, but it will become a little more involved using network address translation for the remote office connection and having them “share” the IP address from the main office.