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Shared Resource Between Multiple Networks

by minnino / July 9, 2009 2:26 PM PDT

I have a site that has 5 different offices on a single floor. Also on that floor is an expensive piece of equipment (medical scanner) that all offices want to share.

Currently the scanner is a standalone device that runs Windows XP in the background of the imaging render/viewing software.

Each office is using a domain environment, and each have their own server (holding the rolls of File Server, DNS, & DHCP), as well as data connection. Some offices have a T1 circuit for data and others have DSL. Each office has different IP addressing schemes, with the excetpion of 2 using 192.168.x.x. All the routers in use are basic routers, (Actiontek Motorola, or Sonicwall) no Cisco equipment. All workstations are using Windows XP Pro.

The overall goal we are looking for is for each office to have a single workstation that will have access to pull and view data captured by the scanner, but they want to keep their own networks separate.

Each workstation that will pull and view captured data will have to have the scanner manufactures software installed.

I have spoken with the manufacture about if this is even a possibility with this software, and they have told me that other locations have accomplished what we are trying to do. They said that each workstation that has the software installed will just have to be able to map a network drive to the 'storage' folder on the imaging PC/scanner.

The only thing that I could think of was connecting the scanner to one network and adding trusts between the domains to allow this, but the manufacture said that all we would have to do is set up port forwarding on each of the routers so that each workstation on a different network would have access to this scanner.

Could someone point me in the right direction as to how we might accomplish this?


Please let me know if any other information is needed.

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When I read about the domains.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 9, 2009 4:14 PM PDT

That's when it came crashing down.

It may be possible to send the files to the other workstations over FTP or such which bypasses the domain issues. This is NOT an offer to teach basics.

So armed with that it may be that you ftp what you want to those other stations (as ftp servers and clients are free) and then that neatly sidesteps the domains.

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Not sure about FTP
by minnino / July 10, 2009 9:40 AM PDT

Thanks for the input, but im not sure if FTP will work with the imaging software (installed on the client machine). the way that the software works is it has to have a mapped network drive to the host machine (scanner) in order to work. As far as I know there is not a way to do that with FTP.

I was thinking about maybe setting up a VPN connection and having them run a batch files once connected to map the drive, but these people are doctors, they want everything to be a simple as possible, so i would like to keep it down to very little human interaction to accomplish this.


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The one thing is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2009 10:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Not sure about FTP

I'm a programmer, net admin and more so this would something you would task your IT staff or pay the scanner folk with.

But as presented it appears that a share is all that's needed. Why must the share be on that scanner machine and not the results in the files. I'm getting the feeling that more than a share is going on.

Time for the paid help I fear.

As to keeping the human interaction down, that's something I do as I write automation software.

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by minnino / July 10, 2009 11:55 AM PDT
In reply to: The one thing is

Hey Bob, thanks for all the info.

As for the shares the way they explained it is that on the Scanner PC there is a 'dump' folder that all the medical images go to locally after doing the scan (BTW this is for eye imaging) a paitent will sit infrom of the scanner and then images will be taken, and stored in the local 'dump' folder.

For the computers in the other offices they have to have a different application loaded on their machine (used just to view the images, not to take them). This is where the mapped network drive comes in, so that the 'viewing' software can access the 'dump' folder.

So in theory i think a VPN connection would work great. Is there an easy way to write a script that would launch a PPTP VPN connection, automatically inputting an IP username and password, and map a network drive all in one?

I am not very script savvy (especially not in VB) but i can make a batch file for the mapping, but not for the VPN connection.


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Let's say there is a dump folder.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2009 11:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Shares

Since it's a "share" how is this directory share any different than the norm? That is, a software written by us looks at the dump and ftp's out the files to a server on the domain in question and that directory is shared.

AS PRESENTED I see no reason why this would not work.

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VPN I fear is a dead end.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2009 12:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Shares

A VPN onto that other domain would me loss of connectivity to the local domain. That's basic VPN dogma so I'll stop here and write FTP looks to be my escape route.

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Very true
by minnino / July 10, 2009 12:40 PM PDT

Hey Bob, your input is great! It is true that the software can be configured to use a file server to push all the captured images to, but that would be the file server on a single domain, in a single office.

I need it so that the other offices can get into that file server do the 'dump' folder, but not have access to anything else. the 5 offices in questions are not affiliated in any way and do not want the other offices getting to their files. this scanner was about $80,000 so they are sharing this piece of equipment and this piece only.

Even though when connecting to the VPN it will disconnect the user form their own domain, that's ok. they will just be getting in to view these images, no printing, or copying of any kind. I think that might be the easiest way to go around thing.

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by bkirby / July 10, 2009 3:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Very true

Loosing connectivity to the local domain while a VPN tunnel is established is a common issue. The problem is routing giving way to DNS issues too. Typically the default configuration on a VPN client is to use the remote network as the default gateway. So when the domain member PC tries to get/send traffic to the local domain controller, it's not to be found because it's sending all traffic to the remote network.

Solution is to NOT use the remote network as the default gateway in the VPN client settings. You'll be able to still map a drive to the dump folder, but use the local gateway and keep the connection to the domain.

Also, since you will be sending medical imaging over a public network, using an IPSec tunnel is best because of HIPPA.

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Let me be a little harsh.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2009 11:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Very true

Sorry in advance. I see this as simple to solve given the story. But I think there is someone limiting themselves to just the existing share. I "bet" that I could ftp the files out to the 5 other servers in the 5 domains when new files show up in the dump folder (simple code really) and then have a virtual view to that dump folder without access to anything else because of the system I designed.

I understand this area well because I've been there, done that and found staffers that will stop you in your tracks as you have a solution in hand. But they want it to work without a single line of code or such.

What do you do here but wait for them to come around?

Apologies but I see a solution here.

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