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VPN follies

  • 1.  VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 13 days ago
    Dear Collaborators,

    #Admin #Technical

    We are waiting on an upgrade to our Internet speed. We'll be getting fiber optic (at about 50-60 Mbps) by the end of March or so. But right now we're dealing with two T1 lines that offer a total of 3.1 Mbps up and down. Yes, about 1/20 the speed of a standard 60 Mbps home Internet connection. Don't cry for me, Argentina... we're dealing with it!

    We're getting estimates for upgrading our Remote Desktop capabilities, but that'll involve a not insignificant upgrade to our hardware and OS. My boss is wondering whether VPN access to Dynamics GP 2016 R2 will be usable at fiber optic speeds. Right now, of course, it is paralyzingly slow. Our finance and accounting people simply cannot work on GP from home unless it's on a Sunday and nobody else is logged into GP.

    Any thoughts on the viability of remote VPN access to GP with a decent Internet connection at work? Or does access to GP still suck wind no matter how fast VPN is?

    Sincerely,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: VPN follies

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 13 days ago
    @Steve Erbach when I get the pleasure of working from home via VPN, I actually remote to my desktop here or to our server for GP access. Are your users going to do that or looking to have GP installed on a "home" workstation but VPN for network access?

    The way I function remotely does have a slight lag, but not much. Our internet here is about 100 mbps...however my home connection is only at 20 mbps on a good day, when the sun is shining, neighbors aren't online, and so on (I'm on DSL at home).​

    ------------------------------
    Aleiha Hanson
    Royal Basket Trucks, Inc - IT Manager
    GPUG Milwaukee WI Chapter Leader
    ahanson@royal-basket.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 13 days ago
    @Aleiha Hanson,

    I should have said that GP is installed on each workstation. Our investigation of Remote Desktop​ includes consolidating GP onto that platform and away from workstation installations.

    The people that are working remotely take their work laptops home or on the road with them... so GP on a local workstation while using VPN to the company network is the "paralyzingly slow" part.

    My guess is that if we persist with GP installations on individual workstations and VPN into the GP databases on the company network, our GP performance will still be suckful. Not paralyzing, perhaps, but suckful nonetheless.

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: VPN follies

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi Steve,
    here we do both.

    Our main used solution is remote access to Terminal Server for our users in Australia, UK, U.S., etc...  Performance is the best with that solution.

    Still, we have a few that has local Dynamics GP client installed, and the 2 I know (one being me) both have a very good home internet connection, 20Mbps for one, 40Mbps for the other.  On the office side, I dont know exactly but it is at least better than 40.

    And for me, the performance of connecting my local client to the SQL via VPN is fairly acceptable.  Even for printing, it is really good.

    Cheers

    ------------------------------
    Luc St-Yves
    Business Analyst
    Co-Leader GPUG - Montreal chapter
    Humanware Technologies
    Drummondville QC
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 13 days ago
    @Luc St-Yves,

    Thank you for that perspective. I think that will satisfy our CFO, since we'll be facing a good chunk of change to transfer GP to a Remote Desktop environment.

    This all came to a head last week during the deep freeze. Several of us worked from home at various times during the week; and we all experienced the terrible slowness of a local GP installation to our company GP databases via VPN. Nothing can make up for the pitiful T1 performance at the office when one is working remotely.​

    I think we'll wait until we get our Internet service upgraded and then test VPN before we go whole how w/an upgrade to Remote Desktop.

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    @Steve Erbach

    Just to let you know that although I'm in development now and not logging into GP that much, when I have to I have a 20Mb connection at home and remote into my PC at work and have little to no issues with lag over the VPN, either hardware or software.​

    ------------------------------
    Bert Green
    GP Developer/GP Administrator
    Berger Transfer & Storage, Inc.
    Saint Paul MN
    GP2015/MR CU11
    GPUG All Star 2017
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    What sort of development, @Bert Green? Enquiring minds!

    Regards,​

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: VPN follies

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi Steve,

    In my (not so) humble opinion, you should NEVER run GP over a VPN!  Our inventory pickers used to run GP over wireless.  Fairly often, we had major problems with inventory issues and 1/2 posted transactions.  After researching, we found out that Microsoft doesn't recommend wireless and GP.   We setup virtual desktops and they remote desktop to the virtual server.   ALL of the problems went away!

    I have a "supper speedy" internet connection at my house (12 MB down and 0.0 MB up).  I run remote desktop over that and it works great!

    i understand your upgrade expense, but I think you'll end up spending alot no trying to fix data problems.  I for see many long nights with Check links and reconcile in your future...  :)

    Checkout Anya's article:  Important: Dynamics GP Should Not Be Run Over a WAN or VPN Network
    Dynamics remove preview
    Important: Dynamics GP Should Not Be Run Over a WAN or VPN Network
    The official System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 from Microsoft does not give Network...
    View this on Dynamics >


    ------------------------------
    John Arnold
    Senior Software Engineer
    US Digital
    Vancouver WA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    @John Arnold,

    Your usual good advice! We haven't had much in the way of Check Links issues or Reconcile in the year I've been here. (Hey! I just remembered... today is my 1st Anniversary​ with GLC Minerals!)

    Our internet connectivity is finally getting upgraded in a couple weeks. We'll be moving to SharePoint online as well as Remote Desktop (when the CFO approves it). I'll definitely read @Anya Ciecierski's article​, though we'd reached the same conclusion at my last job. Just trying to catch up!

    Regards,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    @John Arnold,

    P.S., ​"12 MB down and 0.0 MB up"... surely that "up" figure is rounded down, eh?

    Regards,


    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: VPN follies

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 12 days ago
    Um... it fells like 0.0... but is 0.6 MB upload :)

    ------------------------------
    John Arnold
    Senior Software Engineer
    US Digital
    Vancouver WA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: VPN follies

    Posted 12 days ago
    Steve,

    For around 3 years we ran between 5 and 10 users over a 100Mbps point to point fiber connection without issue. They did notice performance was not as fast as being local but it ran fine.  This was mostly front office and billing personnel. In the last couple of months we moved offices around and ended up pushing almost 25 users over that connection including our accounting department.  With this kind of load performance was suffering and accounting was complaining about how long GP and their SQL reports were taking to run.  So in your case it is a possibility to run over VPN but it will depend on the number of users and how heavy their GP operations are.  The only way to know for sure is test it out.

    ------------------------------
    Josh Kenyon
    Automated Dairy Systems
    Jerome ID
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    @Josh Kenyon,

    Right you are. We're never going to have more than five people online via VPN at the same time... at least with the current size of the Finance department. And that would be during another blizzard or hyper cold snap.

    Regards,​

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: VPN follies

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 12 days ago
    ​The unfortunate reality is that GP is a network bandwidth hog.  I can imagine that on a paired T1 you would get about 1 effective connection before things started to bog down.  Your new connection is going to be much better, but if you're trying to run 20 simultaneous users over a 40 MB VPN connection, you are going to see some lag.

    If you really want good performance from remote workstations, I'd look at either Remote Desktop or Citrix into a local server and host the GP connections from there.  A 100 Mb LAN is going to be able to host a lot more users (probably 10x) than a 40 Mb WAN - especially with the added encryption overhead of a VPN.

    ------------------------------
    Blair Christensen
    Database Administrator
    Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.
    Boise ID
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: VPN follies

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted 12 days ago
    @Blair Christensen,

    Your points about Remote Desktop are well taken. We used it at my last job, and I've laid out the case to my boss here at GLC Minerals.​ We have 7 full GP licenses and there would very likely be no more than four people attempting to work with GP remotely besides three in the office at the same time... and that would only be during a snowstorm or deep freeze like we had last week.

    I'm checking on the viability of VPN on a faster connection (well, faster than a paired T1 at any rate!) before spending the money to go all in with Remote Desktop.

    Thank you,

    ------------------------------
    "Sparkly" Steve Erbach - Green Bay, WI
    Co-Chair, GPUG WI (Green Bay) Chapter
    Blog: https://www.gpug.com/blogs/steve-erbach
    Twitter: twitter.com/serbach

    ───────────────
    Excel Webinar List
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: VPN follies

    Posted 12 days ago
    Got to agree with John, GP over VPN is not recommended and will eventually lead to database inconsistencies. TS, Web Client, Citrix, or remoting to a local workstation are all better options.

    Kirk