IPSEC router-to-router (or) IPSEC client-to-router
I am in the final stages setting up a co-lo solution and have reach a
point of confusion and need some opinions. Being almost finished, I
don't want to reinvent the wheel, however if I can keep the solution
simpler, I would benefit from any additional time spent. Our current
solution is a follows:
We have fours servers which will be in the co-lo. Each server is
currently provisioned and setup for an SSH-server service using
BitVise (http://www.bitvise.com/). My plan upto this point was to
allow only ports 80, 443 and 22 'IN' through m0n0wall. Port 80/443
will be for public access. Port 22 would be further restricted with
the source being our main office only. Anytime I need to access any of
these servers, I would first create an ssh tunnel from my workstation
using the BitVise client, and then use RDP/VNC through the tunnel as
well as any commandline needs.
We have a few other people in the office that need to access three of
these servers all day long. So in essence, there will be almost an 8
hour persistent tunnel to/from the co-lo network. An unfortunate
side-effect will be the additional cpu's for en-crypting/de-crypting
the tunnel traffic on the server.
I have setup router-to-router IPSEC with m0n0wall with success, but in
trying to be security conscientious, I was leaning away from using a
full time connected tunnel for this application. I beleive that with a
full time tunnel, if one of the co-lo servers is compromised, the
attacker conceiveably could have access to our main office (and
Then there's the possibilty of using an IPSEC client like GreenBow. In
this scenario, the client pc on the main office network would
initiated an IPSEC seesion with the m0n0wall firewall at the co-lo
end. Having not really researched this yet, I am assuming that the
IPSEC connection is not only initiated but also torn-down by the
So now I'm at an impass.
The IPSEC solution would
* be cheaper (not having to buy Bitvise SSHserver)
* remove cpu cycles from the servers. (the firewall has been upsized
to a 1Ghz processor)
* simpler to setup and administer.
The downside would be the single point of failure (compromise).
My needs are simple. I have a client workstation that needs to access
the server,s securely. I also need the ability to map a drive on the
client pc to a resource on the server. Both networks will have
m0n0wall firewall/routers as gateways.
I'll take any suggestions or comments. I am kinda in a knowledge
vaccum and have learned much of what I know from research.