User expectations for mobile support keep growing
IT organizations need to provide support for accessing data and applications from remote locations. There is also demand to use personal devices that might not be domain joined. You need to understand the options for supporting these users. My name is Jamie and I will be attempting to help you learn several tips and tricks, the primary focus of this site is to provide various free tutorials and tricks for all things computers so hopefully I can assist you to learn about the options available for remote access, remote control, and data synchronization in the next few posts. You will also learn about the various virtual private network protocols and how to configure clients. Direct-Access, a new variation of a virtual private network, is also covered. You may even learn how to Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are used to provide connectivity to Windows 10 computers. Finally, I plan to cover the data synchronization options that allow data to be used even if there is no network connectivity.
Overview of Remote Data Access
Mobile and remote users do not have direct access to the network resources, such as data and applications, that are located at the main office, so the lack of a direct network connection is a barrier to accessing those resources. Public networks allow traveling users to obtain a remote network connection, but the security of that connection is suspect and a threat to the safety of the resources being accessed by mobile workers. To address these issues, Microsoft provides remote access, remote control, and data synchronization technologies. All of these support mobile and remote users in different ways.
Remote access consists of a dedicated computer acting as a remote access server and clients connecting to that server. Once clients are connected to the remote access server, the clients have access to resources on the network where the remote access server is located. The oldest technology for remote access is dial-up networking.
Dial-up networking clients have a modem and connect to the remote access server over telephone lines. This technology is seldom used now because it is very slow when compared with Internet connectivity. Dial-up connectivity is limited to approximately 56 Kbps (kilobits per second). A 4G data plan on most
mobile phones is over 1000 times faster. It is much more common for remote access to be done over a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN creates an encrypted connection between the VPN clients and the remote access server over a public network such as the Internet. Because the connection is encrypted, anyone between the VPN client and the remote access server is prevented from viewing the data in transit.
A VPN is much faster than dial-up because it operates at almost the same speed as the Internet connection. However, latency is still much higher over a VPN than on a local area network (LAN). Therefore, even with a fast connection, accessing data is slower over a VPN than it is locally. Opening and saving les such as Word documents is a noticeably slower process over a VPN, but might be tolerable. For many apps that use a central database for data storage, a VPN is not practical because the app running on the client generates many small requests and each request has high latency, which delays processing in the app.
Remote control technologies improve on remote access technologies by reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent between the client and the server. All resource access and data processing is performed on a server that is remote controlled, as shown in Figure 14-2. The remote
client uses remote control software to send keyboard and mouse commands to the computer being remotely controlled. These commands are processed on the remote-controlled computer, not on the remote client computer. The remote client is sent a visual update of the screen from the remotely controlled computer.
This solution requires much less bandwidth between the remote client and server than remote access does. Remote control technologies perform well over slower networks such as the Internet and are generally preferred to remote access technologies.
The main weakness for both remote access technologies and remote control technologies is that they require connectivity. There are scenarios where no network connectivity is available or is of poor quality. Sometimes clients do not provide guest Wi-Fi access and hotels are notorious for having poor quality Wi-Fi that sometimes does not even allow remote control technologies to work well.
When there is either no connectivity or poor connectivity, data synchronization can be a solution. Data synchronization copies files locally to mobile computers. Then, users can work with the files whether they are connected to a network or not. At some point, the changed files are copied back (uploaded) to the server. The timing of the synchronization varies depending on the technology used for data synchronization.
One key consideration for data synchronization is shared application data. Users cannot access shared app data by using data synchronization unless the app performs its own offine data synchronization process. So, generally, data synchronization is good for personal files, but not as useful for shared data.
In my next post, I will be discussing how to configure VPN clients for your windows 10 pro network.