Small branch office sites host very few resources to share—certainly not major web pages that are expected to get lots of hits—but they need continuous and reliable access to the larger offices.
The smaller branch offices maintain either dedicated or dynamic ISDN connections to their Internet service providers. Some offices use the same national service provider as the corporate office, while others use providers who maintain upstream connections through the same networks as the corporate office. Though this does not affect the basic functionality of the VPN, it does increase the speed and reliability of the connection between sites.
Small branch offices use the Ascend Pipeline 50 ISDN router for their Internet connection. The Ascend supports PPTP, and routes Internet traffic for up to 255 IP addresses. A Windows NT or Unix server is utilized at each site to validate incoming PPTP users and to connect to the VPN.
A PPTP server and client are used at each site for accessing the VPN.