[dba-Tech] VPN on a virtual Windows 2008 server...and RemoteDesktop

Jim Lawrence accessd at shaw.ca
Wed Jan 18 13:22:03 CST 2012

Hi Steve:

I am a little late to this discussion so most has already been said.

First: MS always has two term server connection, on their servers, designed
mostly for administration support. Any other terminal licenses must be
purchased separately.

Second: I have not worked much with MS terminal services but have done a bit
with Citrix (the MS terminal server core is Citrix) as related to some large
clients (various banks). I have not been to the Toronto hosting sites but
have received a few pictures, from friends and the BE is huge. It takes a
lot of muscle to handle many remote sessions.

Third: Hamachi is now owned by LogMeIn. I met with the owners of the
original company as they are from Vancouver. Hamachi works because it
accesses addresses and ports outside scan range (In the 5.xx.xx.xx range)
and these ports are usually not blocked by the hosting routers. The only way
these ports can be setup, is to remote-in to remote your server, then you
install Hamachi and it then monitors the new port, it generates, allowing
remote access. Then the new port can be used for connecting. Note your
hosting company may have blocked the Hamachi working ports as that may be
considered a security violation.

Aside: The DBA web site is in virtual drive and it is managed through a
secure Hamachi connection. Of course web sites are designed to handle
hundreds of sessions with minimal impact...thanks to IIS (or Apache).

A question: Unless you remote host company is specifically setup to manage
multiple remote sessions, like a full terminal server installation, the
impact on their system would be dramatic or you remote performance would be
throttled down... I did not remember hearing if that is the type of hosting
you have purchased.  

I really do hope you have not painted yourself into a corner with this
contract but the good news is that there are alternatives but they are not
quick or easy.


-----Original Message-----
From: dba-tech-bounces at databaseadvisors.com
[mailto:dba-tech-bounces at databaseadvisors.com] On Behalf Of Steve Erbach
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:01 AM
To: Discussion of Hardware and Software issues
Subject: Re: [dba-Tech] VPN on a virtual Windows 2008 server...and


And I didn't explain adquately.  Sorry. GoDaddy offers "virtual dedicated
servers" at a very favorable monthly rate.

What we're running into is reluctance on the part of IT folks to allow
Remote Desktop connections to that virtual server. They don't like opening

Regarding Microsoft Azure, I've heard of it but have no idea what it
is...but it sounds like that's what GoDaddy uses to put limits on their
virtual dedicated servers. That could be an unfortunate game changer.

I'll see about contacting the Hamachi folks.

Thank you,

Steve Erbach
Neenah, WI

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM, Gustav Brock <Gustav at cactus.dk> wrote:

> Hi Steve
> OK, I misunderstood a little. A "virtual hosted server" is not the same as
> a normal "virtual server" like VMware Server which for nearly any
> use can be referred to as a physical server. It's like Windows Azure where
> you get something "similar" to a normal server; some features are left out
> or limited, in your case VPN of Microsoft Server.
> I'm not familiar with Hamagochi or similar but it should be easy to get an
> answer to your precise question if their VPN "server" application can be
> installed on a hosted virtual server.
> The count of Microsoft RDP connection licenses is not related to VPN or
> not.
> /gustav
> >>> erbachs at gmail.com 18-01-2012 18:32 >>>
> Gustav,
> Thanks for the reply. I see from the GoDaddy documents (which I just saw)
> that were given to my client when he signed up for the virtual server (at
> my recommendation...it was cheap!) that
> "Due to the nature of virtualization software, some system functionality
> not available to the administrator of a virtual dedicated Windows hosting
> server. The following are known to not function in this environment: RAS
> (Remote Access Services) including VPN."
> What is NOT clear is if this applies only to the Microsoft RAS. I'm a bit
> leery of having to be responsible for some other VPN software, but I'll do
> my best to learn it to enable my client to do what he wants to do. Hamachi
> seems to have been mentioned fairly often when the topic comes up here.
> One thing that isn't clear (among many) is this: If Hamachi VPN is
> installed on a server, does the server still have to have multiple
> Microsoft Remote Desktop licenses to be able to have, say, six people dial
> in remotely into the Hamachi VPN?
> This is a thorny problem.  My client has set up a business plan that
> on Remote Desktop access to the virtual server to allow customers to do
> data entry and print reports from the software product he's marketing. I'm
> beginning to feel like a fool for recommending the virtual server route
> this purpose.
> Thanks, Gustav, for your input.
> Regards,
> Steve Erbach
> Neenah, WI
> On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM, Gustav Brock <Gustav at cactus.dk> wrote:
> > Hi Steve
> >
> > To follow the Microsoft route, you need Terminal Service to be installed
> > on the server and licenses for this for the users. If do this, do double
> > check the licensing methods or you may waste a lot of time getting this
> > straight.
> >
> > There is a hack (google around) for Windows XP which allows more than
> > RDP connections at one time but that's probably not a good idea in this
> > case.
> >
> > Small Business Server is routinely set up to use VPN for RDP
> > and it works great. There's no reason why it shouldn't work for virtual
> > servers as well if just the network connection of these are bridged to
> the
> > physical network as is normally the case.
> >
> > You could also skip Terminal Services and use third-party software like
> > WinConnect Server XP:
> >
> > http://www.thinsoftinc.com/product_thin_client_winconnect_server_xp.aspx
> >
> > Be aware that the license of this will be locked to the (first) server
> you
> > install this on, or you will need a call and a good explanation to the
> > support line.
> >
> > /gustav
> >
> >
> > >>> erbachs at gmail.com 18-01-2012 17:51 >>>
> > Dear Group,
> >
> > I've been working with a client who wants to offer his software package
> > (which I wrote in Access 2003) to clients via Remote Desktop connections
> to
> > a GoDaddy.com virtual Windows Server. I've got Remote Desktop working
> just
> > fine to allow users to log into the virtual server (2 GB RAM, 30 GB hard
> > disk) and run the Access application...but Windows Server 2008 only has
> two
> > built-in Remote Desktop licenses for simultaneous use. My client thinks
> > we'll need more.
> >
> > He and I were on a conference call with a support guy from GoDaddy.com
> > yesterday. I asked him about setting up a VPN on the virtual server and
> he
> > said that that wasn't possible. However, he didn't know that Windows
> Server
> > 2008 had TWO Remote Desktop access licenses built-in. He was also
> surprised
> > when I told him that I can log into the server with two separate Remote
> > Desktop sessions. That didn't make me confident that his pronouncement
> > about VPN on a virtual server was accurate.
> >
> > So I'd like to ask you folks: can a VPN be set up on a VIRTUAL Windows
> > Server 2008 installation? I've read through some threads here that
> mention
> > Hamachi VPN. Not that I want to learn yet another software package to be
> > responsible for, but it seems that that has some boosters here.
> >
> > Also (subsidiary question) has anyone here ever purchased additional
> Remote
> > Desktop licenses from Microsoft? Thanks in advance!
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Steve Erbach
> > Neenah, WI
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