The Remote Desktop Connection features in Microsoft Windows allow staff on the road, all over the world, to access their workstation. The productivity benefits of this are obvious.
The security implications are also obvious. Get this wrong and you are handing over full control of the machine to bad people who will harm you if they can profit from it.
So what’s the right way to go about this?
Look, I know what you’re thinking: a Raspberry Pi is really just for tinkering, prototyping and hobby use. It’s not actually meant for running a business on.
And it’s definitely true that this computer’s relatively low processing power, corruptible SD card, lack of battery backup and the DIY nature of the support means it’s not going to be a viable replacement for a professionally installed and configured business server for your most mission-critical operations any time soon.
But the board is affordable, incredibly frugal with power, small enough to fit just about anywhere and endlessly flexible – it’s actually a pretty great way to handle some basic tasks around the office.
And, even better, there’s a whole world of people out there who have done these projects before and are happy to share how they did it.
The keystone of a well-designed network that can grow is a future-proofed IP addressing scheme.
Central to this are the two main tenets of Consistency and Hierarchy. These are vital to making your network coherent and orderly and assists in all manner of troubleshooting and planning issues.
It might be fine for your home network or small business to use a Class C (192.168.1.0) private addressing scheme for right now, and maybe for a while.
In the real world, this tends to be something that doesn’t get changed until it absolutely has to – at which point your network’s already grown to hundreds of devices. That’s large enough that changing the addressing scheme will always be a massive pain in the neck, taking hours upon hours of work and getting in everyone else’s way.
I’ve been a part of IP Addressing scheme changes in the past. It sucks. It takes forever, it’s tedious as hell for the poor saps who have to do it, and expensive for whoever foots the bill. And there is always bound to be things that go wrong and things you miss.
It’s always better to do things right the first time! So why not start with a scheme that can take you all the way from your small suburban office to an underground global headquarters where you torture British spies while patting a white fluffy cat.
Start it off right and you never have to make significant changes to it again.