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Network Management over Long Distances

200 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Dec 11, 2012 11:01 AM by JustinGN RSS
JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 11, 2012 9:35 AM

I've got a question for you experienced OS X Server Admins out there, as well as for more experienced Network Professionals than myself.


As my family increasingly moves to Mac, my tech support requests from them have dropped sharply (Hallelujah!), though the complexity of them when they do come in has increased to the point that I can't really troubleshoot them over the phone anymore.  So as I look into getting a Mac Mini, the idea occured that I could use Mac OS X Server and Apple Remote Desktop to manage these remotely in the event of something going wrong, and lock down accounts so they aren't installing apps outside the App Store or Gatekeeper rules.  My problem is the physical distance between the Macs involved, and bandwidth usage:


1) The Macs I'd manage are located in several states with different family members, all over different connections of varying quality.  A constant VPN option isn't viable, though I need a way to make sure the Mac retains its Security Settings in the event of network connectivity being lost.


2) For when the Macs can/do connect to the Management Server, I'd need a way to make sure they aren't tunneling all traffic over VPN or some other secure connection to the server. In other words, their Mac would need to be able to send traffic from Netflix or Hulu over their local net connection, without the packets being piped over VPN to travel over my line; they need to do this while being reachable by said server.


See my dilemma? I want to manage them as if they're all internal devices, yet also make sure they make use of their own network connections and can remain independent rather than depend on VPN/my network connection.


Is there a feasible solution to this problem, or am I living in a dreamland here?

  • tzbikowski Level 4 Level 4 (1,945 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 11, 2012 9:49 AM (in response to JustinGN)

    I get the impression that you are trying to overcomplicate the things.

    The setup you are thinking about may work but keep the IT as simple as you can.

    If you want to support other computers securely over the internet there are system to do it.

    check: which is used by many IT professional and big companies to support remote users.

    Very safe, free for not commercial  use.


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