If I had 10 PC's located at two office locations using a client/server
network, and at each of the two offices the existing network works at
10MB/s, using CAT 5, however the offices are not connected to each other,
could I use a VPN to connect all of the offices together, and should I keep
the existing network, however would there be a bandwidth issue as at each of
the offices at present the network works 10MB/s?
The VPN would be used to share data between the offices, and for users to
access data and software applications from home.
I hope the above makes sense, and any advice would be appreciated.
> ...could I use a VPN to connect all of the offices together...
Absolutely. I use VPN to connect branch offices to the head office,
which in principal is what you're looking for, I guess. The VPN is
implemented using Cisco firewalls at gateways. The client computers
are totally oblivious to the fact that their traffic passes through a
VPN tunnel, all they see is another private subnet (10.10.1.x). Home
users can use a VPN Client software to connect to the office LAN.
> ...would there be a bandwidth issue as at each of the offices at present the
> network works 10MB/s?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this, but if you're looking for
(seamingly) same network speed as users have within their office LAN,
then you obviously need a 10Mbps link between the offices. Even then
you would suffer some penalty from the VPN as all traffic has to be
encrypted/decrypted. This depends on how many connections and what
equipment you have. Also, if the same link is used for other traffic
(web, P2P), you might end with the same problems as I have now where
FTP traffic takes up all the bandwidth suffocating the VPN traffic. I
will probably have to buy some kind of QoS equipment to marshall
traffic in the link.
> I hope the above makes sense, and any advice would be appreciated.
I don't want to scare you but IPSec, which is what Cisco uses in their
VPNs, is notoriously complicated and a nightmare to configure. There
are various ways in which you can implement a VPN. The beauty of
having a VPN tunnel between gateways is that you don't need any
configuration on the client computers.