[VPN] VPNs, bandwidths, and Citrix

Ryan Malayter rmalayter at bai.org
Thu May 22 16:32:36 EDT 2003

Typically, client/server database applications send very little data,
since most of the processing is done by a database server like Microsoft
SQL Server. However, there are a few horrible file-based (think .MDB or
.DBF files) or even worse cursor-on-top-of-SQL based systems out there
that really soak up network bandwidth. You need to make sure your
application is really the bandwidth hog before you go investing in
anything else. Can th eapplication be re-written? What is the back-end
database platform?

A terminal server like Citrix or the more basic Windows Terminal
Services basically runs the client appliction in a virtual screen on a
box on your network, and all that gets sent over the VPN are visible
changes from this virtual screen. This is typically very efficient in
terms of bandwidth. I would first try the basic Windows Terminal Service
built into Windows 2000/3 server, and then only move up to the more
expensive Citrix if need be. You can run the base Win2k terminal
services without any licenses for 90 days as a test to see if it really
helps things.

Ryan Malayter
Sr. Network & Database Administrator
Bank Administration Institute
Chicago, Illinois, USA
PGP Key: http://www.malayter.com/pgp-public.txt
Twas a woman who drove me to drink. I never had the courtesy to thank
     -W.C. Fields

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael D'Alto [mailto:mdalto at sflawish.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 2:44 PM
To: 'vpn at lists.shmoo.com'
Subject: [VPN] VPNs, bandwidths, and Citrix

I have a couple of very basic questions about VPN management.  I just
recently started as a SysAdmin for a small non-profit that used to out
source most of its IT.  I worked in technical support on the client side
a large university network, so I'm farely computer literate and capable
a neubie to small office environments, system administration etc.

We currently have three employees accessing a centrally located database
over a VPN through a Watchguard Firebox system.  The performance is
horrendous due to the amount of data being sent back and forth.  It has
suggested that we install a Citrix Metaframe system to drastically
the amount of data being sent.  Two questions come to mind that I was
someone could help me with:

Are three users on a VPN the bottleneck, such that a Citrix installation
will not drastically help.  
What is the bandwidth over a VPN, how is it shared and maximized?  
Am I correct in assuming that Citrix helps this only by reducing the
of data being sent over the VPN?

Thank you so much in advance!


Michael D'Alto

Michael D'Alto
Technology and Research Coordinator
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida
PO Box 17377
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33318
954.967.9474 ext. 314
954.987.2468 fax
If you know of a child with a life-threatening medical condition, please
Great Course. Great Partners. Great Cause. The 17th Annual Make-A-Wish

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