OVERVIEW

The Netop WebConnect service is a secure web-based solution consisting of two modules.  The Connection Manager which serves as a meeting hub for Netop Guests and Hosts, and one or more Connection Servers that route the traffic between Guests and Hosts.

Netop WebConnect communication is normally used to connect a Guest to a Host across the internet where they are typically separated by firewalls and the IP address of the Host may be unknown.  When using the Netop WebConnect service users can remote control computers typically without having to configure any firewall, proxy or router.  This is because Netop WebConnect can rely on outbound HTTP traffic on port 80 from the Guest and Host (including Netop OnDemand Hosts and Netop Mobile Hosts).

In addition to using HTTP on port 80, WebConnect can easily be configured to use a pure TCP protocol on port 6502 (or any port you choose).  Using the TCP protocol will give you a significant performance boost however it may require you to make some allowances on your firewall.  When you have both TCP and HTTP protocols enabled for your WebConnect environment, it will first try the faster TCP protocol and if that does not succeed it will fall back to HTTP.  For additional details regarding firewall and proxy configuration please review the following article.  Firewall and Proxy Server considerations when using Netop’s WebConnect /WebConnect 3.0 communication

To use WebConnect on the internet, the Connection Manager and Connection Server must each have a public IP address where routing or port forwarding is used to reach the service.  It is recommended that you use a separate computer for the Connection Manager and each Connection Server.  Although it is not required many customers choose to install the WebConnect modules on servers placed in their DMZ.

The Connection Manager uses Microsoft Internet Information Service and relies on connectivity to a Microsoft SQL database for data management.  The Connection Manager facilitates connection information and parameters to Netop Guests and Hosts when they meet and it assigns them a Connection Server to use as a communication relay.  For best performance, it is recommended that the Connection Manager's ODBC connection is to a Microsoft SQL database running on a separate, more powerful server.  If WebConnect is intended for use in a high load, enterprise environment, then the database connection should be to an SQL environment that uses load balancing (SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Edition) or an SQL clustered environment.

NOTE: If the Connection Manager's IIS is configured with a certificate from a certificate authority to support SSL then the Guest and Host can communicate with the Connection Manager using HTTPS:443 in addition to HTTP:80.

PREREQUISITES, SPECIFICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

At a minimum, two computers are required.  One computer for the Connection Manager.  Then another computer for the Connection Server.  The Connection Manager and each Connection Server must have their own unique public IP address.  In low volume environments the SQL database can reside on the same computer as the Connection Manager.

For high volume environments of greater than 1,000 Hosts it is required that the database reside on a separate SQL sever.  For even better performance the SQL database should be in an SQL server load balanced environment.  As the number of Hosts grow, it also may also be necessary to consider additional Connection Managers running in a web server load balanced environment.

Additional Connection Servers may also be added depending on the number of required concurrent connections between Guest and Host through the WebConnect service.  It is recommended that you have at least one Connection Server for every twenty concurrent connections.  So if the requirement is to support one hundred concurrent connections, at least five Connection Servers will be needed.

For high volume, enterprise environments that intend to build a WebConnect environment that is scalable as they grow the following recommendations should be considered.  Our testing has shown that a Connection Manager with the following specifications can handle at least 10,000 Hosts.  Connection Servers that are expected to support 20 active, concurrent remote control sessions should also meet the recommendations below.

Connection Manager

  • Platforms (32-bit and 64-bit): Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008  and Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions)
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0 or higher- default installation with the following extra items:
    • IIS service roles required to be enabled:
      • IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
      • ISAPI Extensions
  • ODBC connection to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or higher

Hardware specifications for Connection Manager

  • Windows 64-bit OS
  • Intel Quad Core processor (or better)
  • 8 GB (or more) of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the SQL Server and the Connection Servers
  • 7,200 RPM (or faster) hard drive 

Connection Server

Platforms (32-bit and 64-bit): Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions).

Hardware specifications for Connection Server

  • Intel Quad Core processor (or better)
  • 8 GB (or more) of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the Connection Manager
  • 7,200 RPM (or faster) hard drive

SQL Server:  Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or higher

Hardware specifications for the SQL Server

  • Intel Quad Core processor (or better)
  • 16 GB (or more) of RAM
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the Connection Manager
  • 2 x 7,200 RPM (or faster) hard drive in RAID0 or similar, 2 x 10.000 RPM HDD in RAID 0 or similar, or 1 SSD hard drive

For a complete list of the installation requirements and instructions, please see the Netop WebConnect Installation Guide.