Enterprise Remote Access for Snow Days: When a VPN Just Won’t Cut It

Well, it’s that time of year again. It seems as though here in Boston we manage to pack the entirety of winter into these last couple weeks – and this year is no exception. As I write this, we are buried under about a foot of snow, all the schools are closed, and I am working from home.

For kids – snow days conjure up visions of backyard snowmen, sledding down golf course hills, and hot cocoa. Unfortunately, for us grown-ups, snow days look a little different. It can be a great chance to get some work done without the constant interruption that comes with office work – that is, of course, if you can still gain access to the applications and files you need to be productive from home.

For someone like me, this is pretty straightforward. All I need to is my Macbook, the latest version of Office, and an Internet connection and I’m basically up and running. But say, for example, you’re a media and entertainment professional who needs to finish editing their latest segment. This becomes a much more complicated feat.

“Is it, really though, Jamie?” you ask. “Can’t they just VPN into the office network and access their applications? What could be more complicated than that?”

Ah, my sweet, summer child. Let’s take a closer look at what you really need to offer remote access to a graphics-intense – or any type of desktop or application – in an enterprise environment

 

High-Performance Display Protocol

This is perhaps one of the most commonly overlooked elements of a remote access solution. Our theory is that because it’s normally built right into the traditional VDI stack, most people won’t give their display protocol a second thought. However, a high-performance display protocol is essential for accessing any application remotely that requires pixel-perfect rendering. For these types of applications, RDP just won’t cut it. For an “at-desk” user experience, our personal favorites include Mechdyne TGX, HP RGS, and Teradici PCoIP.

 

Secure Logins

You may think it’s all fine and dandy to just VPN into your corporate network, however your security compliance team most likely disagrees. For corporate enterprise environments, the task of appropriately configuring a VPN to provide the correct level of access to the correct users is staggering. Then, there’s complication on the user’s side of setting up their VPN client and connection. However, this doesn’t change the fact that employees need remote access- it just needs to be offered in a secure fashion. Here is a where a security gateway, such as the Leostream Gateway, comes in handy.

The Leostream Gateway provides a secure access point for remote users to connect to their hosted desktops and applications. No need for users to set up a VPN client or remember anything other than their usual corporate credentials. The user simply logs into their Leostream account, as usual, and the Leostream Gateway handles the rest. Users can connect using high-performance display protocols, but also can use the built-in HTML5 viewers for client-less access.

 

Advanced User Management

Finally, if you’re the system administrator charged with managing all these users, setting up and managing individual logins can be a nightmare. It’s tempting to want to use standardized admin/password login credentials and be done with it. But again, that compliance team is going to be knocking at your door in no time. By implementing a connection broker solution, such as the Leostream Connection Broker, it’s simple to hook up to your established active directory and provide unique user logins, manage user access settings, and handle rogue users.

Just because we are grown-ups, doesn’t mean snow days have to be all work and no play. So, save yourself the commute into the office, cozy up on the couch (PJs count as appropriate attire) and get remote access to everything you need to stay productive. And, who knows, maybe you’ll find a couple of extra hours to head out with a sled or build that snowman after all!

 

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