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I have never set up and configured a VPN. I was wondering what it takes to set one up across windows server 2008 servers. What is the complexity involved? How complicated is it to configure? Do I need to set up a Domain controller as a pre-requisite?

I am asking because it appears SQL Server 2008 merge replication can only be set up over the internet using VPN and I am trying to gauge what I am up against.

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migrated from Oct 28 '09 at 1:08

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Looks like another one for SU or SF. lucius, you might want to post this question on or Link can be found at the footer of this page. – o.k.w Oct 27 '09 at 4:22

Although this can be done at the server level, normally the VPN would be set up at the Internet gateway on each end. As for the actual question about complexity, most of us here would consider it very easy but that's because we've probably all done it multiple times. For a first timer the difficulty is generally inversely proportional to the amount documentation you read before starting.

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Seems like this should be doable without a VPN:

"All types of Microsoft SQL Server replication can replicate data over a VPN, but consider using Web synchronization if you are using merge replication, because Web synchronization eliminates the need for a VPN. For more information, see Web Synchronization for Merge Replication."

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If you set up a site-to-site VPN between the gateways at each location it is easy, provided both devices are from the same manufacturer and support site-to-site VPNs. Every vendor I've worked with has good documentation on a Device X -> Device X VPN.

If the vendors are different you will need to play around to make things work; it will almost certainly be possible, but may be very frustrating as you try to figure out the equivalent settings and work around quirks to set up a Device X -> Device Y VPN.

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