Two locations, both with high speed connections. Location A is a network using a database application called WINSOMS that uses Advantage Database Server. Location B is a computer with a public static IP that needs access to the WINSOMS Program.

Location A has a Sonicwall that is used for a gateway. I've tried running the Sonicwall Global VPN client at location B. I'm able to access all shared files on the server and printers and such, but after MANY hours on the phone with technical support for WINSOMS and Sonicwall, I've discovered that Advantage Database Server has a security layer that will not communicate over VPN. I've not tried any other VPN clients, but WINSOMS tech support says that everyone who has tried WINSOMS over VPN has failed and given up.

My question: Is there any other way to connect two locations through the internet that would just allow ALL network traffic to communicate? Thanks!

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    Did they give any indication as to why it doesn't work over VPN? – Coding Gorilla Sep 27 '11 at 21:02
  • Got a Link to the online docs for WINSOMS? – Zoredache Sep 27 '11 at 21:11
  • WINSOMS is a proprietary program developed locally by a software company in a nearby county. RDP is the only solution they're willing to offer without charging a fortune to send out their programmers. – Nick Holt Sep 27 '11 at 21:18
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    You should probably let your vendor know that they're possibly violating some sort of privacy law: google.com/… mmmicro.com/files/Unknown.Pdf – MikeyB Sep 27 '11 at 21:39
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    @NickHolt The fortune that should be spent is their company on proper training for their "workforce." Or maybe just a whole new workforce. – Wesley Sep 27 '11 at 21:57

This smells like you're being fed a load of crap from WINSOMS.

A VPN gives you a transparent connection between the two sites (barring firewall rules, etc). It already allows all IP network traffic to communicate.

It's possible there's something odd going on such as WINSOMS not working over, say, MTU-restricted links. But a "security layer" that won't function over a VPN? That's a steaming pile.

Do the client and server need to be on the same subnet? Do they not use IP to communicate?

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  • They do use IP to communicate. I have DHCP enabled on the VPN software so it obtains an IP from the sonicwall at location A just like everyone else. The VPN is also set to "tunnell all" so that all traffic is sent through the virtual adapter. – Nick Holt Sep 27 '11 at 21:17
  • Then you don't have a site-to-site connection. Get a Sonicwall at both ends and set up a site-to-site link. – MikeyB Sep 27 '11 at 21:18
  • We had similar issues with a crappy piece of software. The issue ended up being that the application, was communicating over IP but using WINS/NetBIOS for name resolution, and since it wasn't on the same network, there was fail. – cwebber Sep 27 '11 at 22:15
  1. How about an RDP (Terminal Services) connection from a computer at Location B, via your SonicWALL VPN, into a computer at Location A that can run the WINSOMS client? That would work. You might need a dedicated box or virtual machine to accept these RDP connections.

  2. Have you done a packet capture (e.g. with Wireshark) to see how the SOMS client connects to the server at Location A, and how it fails to connect at Location B? This might help you to understand why it doesn't work over the VPN.

  3. Have you tried setting up a site-to-site layer-2 VPN tunnel using a dedicated hardware device at each end, instead of using a software VPN client? SOMS shouldn't know the difference.

If the vendor's web site is any indication, this "SOMS" thing must be a truly awful piece of software.

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  • The RDP is what we're using now and it's alot of trouble, because it is necessary to take pictures at location B and enter them into WINSOMS, and getting the files to location A is done through the VPN. It would be much better to just have a network connection that works. – Nick Holt Sep 27 '11 at 21:16
  • Excellent suggestion, i'll use wireshark and see whats up. The layer-2 vpn produces same results – Nick Holt Sep 27 '11 at 21:23

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