WFH and remote connectivity

By Andy Maddison, Published Wednesday, 27th May 2020

There are many options to get users working remotely. Here we cover three of the best methods for giving remote and home workers secure access to company resources.

Remote Desktop Services

Users connect to a Remote Desktop Server (aka terminal server) which simulates a computer on your local network. This server could be hosted on your own physical server hardware, in Datcom's Private Cloud Platform or hosted in the public cloud. A single server could host up to 30 user connections. Since multiple users connect to the same server, apps have to be compatible with each other, and the experience isn't quite as smooth or customisable as having your own PC.

Users work on the Remote Desktop Server with direct access to internal network resources. The image displayed on the remote server is 'streamed' to the users local device, making it an excellent way of dealing with individuals who have poor or slow speed internet connections, as no data (other then the streamed image) is transferred between devices and all processing is done at the server side.

Since the server is within your corporate network, all the same policies continue to apply; encryption, web filtering, antivirus protection.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

VDI is a virtual instance of Windows 10 using VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop or Microsoft's new Azure Windows Virtual Desktop service. This is similar to a remote desktop connection but in this case each individual user has their own copy of Windows 10 that is constant whenever and wherever they log in. This allows the same level of customisation as your own personal PC and also means apps cannot conflict with each other as they can in a Remote Desktop envirnoment.

VDI is a premium solution and offers the best experience and security to end users. If cost is a concern then a mixture of Virtual Desktops and Remote Desktop Services can be a great compromise to get the best overall design and value for your business.

Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams

SharePoint and OneDrive act as a virtual file server, allowing you to access files wherever you have a device or a web browser. OneDrive allows synchronisation of files to your local PC and amongst other users in your network. SharePoint and OneDrive work well for Microsoft Office documents such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint and also with other static file types such as images.

Collaboration tools on Microsoft Office documents allows multiple people to work on the same file at the same time. There is also deep integration with Microsoft Teams, which can act as the complete front-end to a SharePoint solution.

Security of Microsoft Office documents can be enhanced by using Azure Information Protection (AIP). AIP gives the business complete control over documents, even when documents are stored on a non-business computers. For example, it ensures the document is encrypted, can only be accessed with your Microsoft 365 credentials, can stop users from emailing documents or copying documents or even taking a screenshot of it's contents.

What to know more

If you want to know more about any of these solutions, or would like a demo or trial please contact us and we would be more than happy to help.
Andy Maddison

By Andy Maddison

Andy Maddison is an Account Manager for Datcom. He has over 25 years experience in the IT industry advising organisations on IT solutions.

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