Blog: All Things Nortec

Surveying and Construction Inspection Firm Deploys Site-to-Site VPN for ‘Always On’ Connectivity

The Background

Monaloh Basin Engineers (MBE) is a surveying and construction inspection firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. The firm is a minority owned business enterprise with a portfolio of signature projects ranging from National ballparks to neighborhood roads. Licensed to provide services in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the firm has two locations in Pennsylvania and employs approximately 25 registered professional engineers and professional land surveyors, designers, civil technicians, CADD technicians, construction inspectors and field personnel.

The Challenge

Since its founding in 1980, MBE has grown continuously. As the firm’s client base expanded, so has its workforce, and in the winter of 2014, MBE faced a dual growth challenge. One of MBE’s users was moving out of state and would need to work remotely, and the firm had decided to open a branch office in order to better serve its clients.

MBE was looking for a cost effective solution that would minimize the investment in IT infrastructure, could be centrally managed and provide secure and efficient access to the network resources at the corporate office.

Both of these developments required multi-user access to network resources with little latency. As an engineering firm, resources commonly used are CAD applications and their associated drawings, which typically use significant memory and compute power. It was critical to MBE that users be able to access these programs and files in a secure and efficient manner – performance was a top priority.

The Solution

For the telecommuter as well as the branch office, Nortec deployed site-to-site VPN tunnels as well as a remote desktop services Server.  The site-to-site VPN allows for an “always on” connection to the main office; there are no IPSEC clients to install and configure or no SSL VPN connections to manage.    Once implemented, the remote user and branch office connections were secure and users had seamless access to all network resources in the main office – this included fast and reliable access to the CAD drawings.

The Benefits

With very little investment, no downtime and not having to deploy servers at the remote locations, MBE is now able to expand into new territories without having to invest in new infrastructures at those locations – allowing for continued central management and backups at the main office.

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