We have all of our corporate servers co-loc'd in a secure data center about an hour away that serves many Terminal Services remote apps to our local clients. We have a speedy network connection between our office and the data center and average about 99.9% uptime (during normal business hours) per year. However, there's always the opportunity for the internet to go down and thus all of our remote apps will cease to function.
Also, the remote apps must run from the data center (assume that there is a very very good reason for this that I cannot break) so placing a local copy is not possible.
Unfortunately our office is poorly wired: we only have a single "last mile" provider in town nor is it feasible to run new fiber to the building.
So, I need some short-term recovery techniques to get us thru a minor outage (lasting at most a single day). Anything more than a day and we'll go to a pre-designated off-site facility to continue operation.
We do have Cisco Client VPN capability so any IP-based network should suffice. I'd like to keep recurring maintenance costs to a minimum since it would be seldom used.
We have at most 15 people using Terminal Services and then about another 20-30 using the internet. The core requirement would be to keep those 15 people going; the rest of the office can continue to function (albeit at reduced output) without internet but if this solution can cover them that's a bonus.
I have a couple of different options that I can think of:
- Cable modem. It's not particularly fast but it's fairly cheap to maintain on a monthly basis. Would be easy to go into the networking closet and swap out the internet to our gateway router. I don't know whether or not they'd piggy back on the same fiber to our location, though.
- Wireless LAN. Something that uses the 3G wi-fi in the area. This seems like the most convenient but are there plans out there that don't cost $1M a month to maintain (something very cheap and then a reasonable bump up when we used it would be best) and require extensive hardware costs?
- Satellite. Is that even fast enough to use RDP?
- Consumer individual Wifi. What about AT&T (etc.) USB wifi cards? They are certainly fast enough to run a single user's RDP; the cards themselves are pretty cheap but the networking plans add up $$ really quick..
Is there another option I'm overlooking? What do you have for primary internet connectivity loss recovery (provided another last-mile provider is out of the question)? Thanks!!