Learning


Software VPN and Multi-User QuickBooks

Software VPN provides the security glue that holds together remote access through the Internet to your Multi-User QuickBooks server. The complete picture appears relatively simple.

Overall, substantial cost savings can come from utilizing multi-user software on a Windows desktop operating system containing a multi-user QuickBooks software installation. Access using Remote Desktop Connection gets secured by VPN software sealing up QuickBooks from any risk from the Internet. Many types of commercial VPN software exist, among which LogMeIn Hamachi seems to be the most widely used.

 

If you are the least bit technical, gaining familuarity with the “SoftEther VPN Project,” an initiative of the University of Tsukuba in Japan will be a productive use of your time. Their website, at https://www.softether.org/ provides extensive information about software VPN and is a very comprehensive VPN resource.

Deploying “SoftEther VPN” will gain you additional savings over LogMeIn Hamachi. The default deployment, “Remote Access to LAN” described at https://www.softether.org/4-docs/2-howto/1.VPN_for_On-premise/2.Remote_Access_VPN_to_LAN works well as a secure remote network access tool for a small business. The only cost, your time to learn about “SoftEther VPN.”


Stabilize Windows 10 Updates

In earlier versions of Windows 10, selecting “Current Branch for Business” means your Windows 10 QuickBooks computer will get only updates “ready for wide spread use in businesses” postponing updates until they get more fully vetted.

The configuration, located at “Settings” >> “Update & Security” >> “Windows Update” >> “Advanced options” produces a stable operating system not prone to those Windows Upgrade mistakes that make the news occasionally. Most recently, Windows 10’s updates changes the required configuration label selection to “Semi-Annual Channel.”

When your target of operating system stability becomes mission critical, make the change. You will be glad you did.

 


Key To Successful Windows Desktop Servers

Windows Desktop Operating System Servers provide an inexpensive alternative to Windows Server Operating System Servers. Headless operation provides one of the key tenants of success.

Millions of Windows Desktop Operating System Servers exist in the wild today. Since 2001, Windows XP Pro and Embedded provided the impetus for Windows Desktop Operating System Servers development and proliferation.

I know of many Windows XP Pro video, point of sale, manufacturing and medical application servers still functional, long past XP’s announced end of life, proving the importance of  Windows Desktop Operating System Servers. Their application support remains important and relevant.

Headless operation means that the CPU (the box containing the motherboard, hard drive and power supply) boots to operational status without the presence of a monitor, keyboard or mouse. Various remote session tools like Remote Desktop Connection, VNC, RMM Desktop Support and many others provide access to the server.

Headless operation places the computer beyond everyday use as someone’s desktop computer, achieving a higher level of stability and dedication to a subset of applications required to complete work. Attach a UPS to it and put it in the data closet, then get to work.

My most current offerings focus on Windows 10 Pro Desktop Operating System Servers for legacy type applications and off domain remote desktop servers.

The Windows XP Pro upgrade path, whether to the cloud or Windows 10 Pro provides revenue streams to many technical businesses and a good living to those technical businesses’ employees.

 


High Performance QuickBooks Multi-User Environment

A QuickBooks production server provides the key to a high performance QuickBooks multi-user environment. Isolating QuickBooks company file(s) on a QuickBooks production server creates the advantage of keeping and hosting QuickBooks company files in a safe, secure and robust fashion. A QuickBooks production server prevents any damage that a compromised desktop computer can do to your company file(s).

The QuickBooks production server also performs automated tasks within QuickBooks and other “QuickBooks add on” softwares such as automated nightly offsite backups or automated order downloads from your website to QuickBooks. A QuickBooks production server can automatically keep each of your QuickBooks desktop computers updated to the latest QuickBooks version.

In some QuickBooks environments, a QuickBooks production server will host the entire QuickBooks application so that no QuickBooks software need be installed on any desktop computer.


Multi-User QuickBooks Networking Setup 2

Most businesses using QuickBooks have 10/100mb networks with low cost switches and uncertified data drops. Generally, they own consumer grade computers purchased from a big box store or online discounter.

I find that most client/server application problems, including QuickBooks, directly relate to businesses trying hard to save money on their computing infrastructure. Unfortunately, QuickBooks raises the bar beyond the network and computing environment that most small businesses adopt. Business must adhere to higher standards for Multi-User QuickBooks to work correctly and be productive.

In a multi-user QuickBooks environment, each computer must have a gigabit network interface, connected to a gigabit switch, using gigabit certified cables and data drops. Also, interaction between QuickBooks and each networked computer’s operating system must be configured properly for QuickBooks to perform optimally. You can accomplish effective QuickBooks networking easily.

First, install QuickBooks on a dedicated production server.

Second, connect only the QuickBooks Production Server and each computer running the installed QuickBooks application to a 1000 mb (gigabit) switch, then connect the 1000 mb (gigabit) switch to the existing 10/100 mb network, preferably at the top level switch. Your gigabit network segment for QuickBooks becomes part of the overall network, so each QuickBooks computer can reach the Internet, use business applications, share files, and print to network printers.