By the end of this article you will have an understanding of how Remote Access works and the necessary infrastructure to provide a frustration free, successful telecommuting experience.
In this article we will discuss proper configuration of these 3 infrastructure items.
Lets get started....
Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic; telecommuting was on a resurgence. With more than 95% of households in America having internet access the feasibility of employing a telecommuting workforce was not only viable but attractive for its potential cost savings and increase in potential employees.
Many companies were exploring plans to ensure their employees could successfully perform their tasks remotely.
Before we dive in and define what is needed to successfully work from home lets first define our telecommuter and look at how Remote Access actually works.
They use applications requiring a significant amount of compute power.
For the purpose of this article; a telecommuter is an employee who typically utilizes a workstation on the company network and now needs to work from home. They use applications requiring a significant amount of compute power. The files they create and modify can take a significant amount of time to open.
My definition of a telecommuter is narrow for this article; however it is this telecommuter that is the cause of concern for many organizations.
If your users can watch Netflix with no problems; their internet connection will work fine.
To understand where our 3 components fit into the remote access framework and their importance; let's take a quick look at how remote access works.
As you can see the processing of files and opening of resource intensive software is handled by the remote workstation that was purpose built to handle these types of workloads. The amount of data transmitted between the 2 clients is minimal because it consists of image data and user input information. If your users can watch Netflix with no problems; their internet connection will work fine.
Now that we have defined our telecommuter and have a basic understanding of how Remote Access works; let’s talk about a successful telecommuting framework.
If things are typically slow in the office; working remotely isn’t going to speed them up.
A slow internal network can have many causes. For the sake of this article we are going to stick to your network infrastructure.
Here are 4 infrastructure components that can impact your telecommute experience:
You may think it unusual that your internal network speed has more capacity than your ISP can handle. If you’ll recall from the ‘Remote Access’ section; the heavy lifting is done by the workstations, license server, and file servers on your network. The amount of data between your users and office is minimal in comparison.
If Wi-Fi is your only option, limit other traffic in your house (aka tell the kids to play Legos or disconnect your neighbors devices :)
The most impactful aspect of remote site internet access will be the stability and security of the connection. Because remote access uses little data the amount of bandwidth isn’t a factor unless you have a house full of boys streaming videos, playing games and listening to music while you are trying to stay connected to your remote session.
Internet access in home networks is predominantly through Wi-Fi. Due to the number of devices connected to a Wi-Fi access point and other wireless devices found in homes; Wi-Fi can be a stability concern. If all you're doing is utilizing the software and files on your office network; little disconnects won’t be as noticeable. If you are conducting online meetings or attending webinars; stability problems will be immediately noticeable.
Here we have 2 home network parameters for trouble free remote working:
PLEASE don’t assign everyone the same password
Security is always at the forefront when talking about connectivity whether in the office or remote. Poorly configured remote connections can leave the door open to cyber attacks.
Best practices for securing your remote connections:
If you don’t have a password policy now is the time to create one:
Many of you are likely realizing that your current network infrastructure is sufficient for your remote workforce to be productive and successful. With some security policy tweaks and software configuration changes you’ll be ready to safely and securely provide your users remote access to their workstation.
Matthew worked with Agave IT Services as a Brand & Content Consultant through 2020. He managed our company transition from Agave Solutions Inc. to Agave IT Services (dba). From our Logo to our online presence and business operations platform; Matthew created a solid foundation able to support our growth into the future.
We are an IT Services and technology company serving the southwestern United States since 2003. We specialize in supporting, managing, and deploying technologies for the AEC industries' unique requirements. We differ from the typical IT service provider in that we handle ALL your technology needs, freeing you to focus on your core business.