different VPN clients on one laptop

I have a problem that I can't figure out any way to resolve. We have a software application that we support that's installed at various client sites. Each client uses a different VPN solution. My developer needs to be able to connect to each client at any given time to do support or perform software upgrades, but the various VPN clients have problems co-existing on one machine. The only thing I can think of is installing something like Virtual PC and installing a different client each on a different VPC (though I'm not 100% certain this will even work)... he'd have to set up a development environment in each VPC as well which is a PITA. I can't really set him up with more hardware as it needs to be portable and lugging several laptops back and forth between home and work isn't really a convenient option. Does anyone have another idea as to how I might get around this issue? It's only going to get worse as more and more clients begin to use our software.


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Welcome to the wooly world of VPN. :)

Unfortunatly, there's not a whole lot of things you can do. The virtual machine one is in use in more than a few sites that I know about. Yes, it will work just fine (assuming you have a NAT-T compliant VPN solution or setup the VM to bridge packets out if there's more than one IP available).

You can try to figure out a VPN client that works with all VPN servers out there including yours, and tell your clients to use that one.

Or, you can change your VPN solution to do something like use the builtin IPsec/L2TP client in windows which other VPN clients generally don't mess with.

But yes, on windows, its generally a pain dealing with multiple VPN client software, and they all tend to interfer with each other because they have to hook low into the same TCP/IP stack.

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Doug McIntyre

Ok thanks, crap... we can't dictate the customers' VPN solution, so I guess I'll have to look at VPCs or multiboot solutions. I've tried getting the built in Microsoft VPN solution to work before with some various VPN installs and I've hit a dead end in some cases after spending hours of work on it. While it ultimately may have been possible, I don't have the time or resources to go back down that road again. Oh well.

I think going forward, I may have to talk to my management/sales and see if we can push something like we need to be able to directly RDP or VNC into the server without having to deal with a VPN.

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