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Create subdomain or keep separate?

By LivingHell ·
I have two sites shortly to be connected via 100mbps P2P leased line.

Site A: Company A has 2 DC's (2003), Exchange2003, ISA2004 plus various F&P servers, one of which houses an aging Foxpro system (flat file structure with local exes)
Site B: Company B has SBS2003

We are moving some of the operations from Site A to Site B, so that Site B will have employees of both Company A & B.

Company B is a subsiduary of Company A but does not need access to Company A's resources, nor does Company A need access to Company B's resources.

Company A's employees on Site B need to log onto and access Site A's resources, including the Foxpro files.

A consultant has suggested logging all at Site B onto B's domain and creating a DMZ to share data - I can't see how that will work, Company A employees on Site B will not be able to use A's email unless via OWA.
My IT guru is suggesting a costly VLAN and creating a forest with the two subdomains. Needless to say my Directors don't want to spend anything!
What would you advise?

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If you ask 10 engineers a question ....

by Churdoo In reply to Create subdomain or keep ...

you'll get 10 different answers

I won't attempt to answer the question since we don't have nearly enough information to validate nor rebut any of the other suggestions, but maybe we can give you a little more insight as I let the first random thoughts that enter my mind flow into this post.

How many site A employees will be working at site B? They will remain site A employees while working at site B? Will they be accessing site B IT resources while working at site B? Are they permanent transfers or rotating crews?

Immediately I see at site B two potential problems inherent in SBS. Problem 1 is a hard licensing limit of 75 users; not sure if the people transferring from site A to B will flirt with that limit (if they'll even require access to site B resources).

The second, and biggest problem with SBS relative to your situation is that SBS will not allow any TRUST relationships. If site B was on W2K3 Server non-SBS, you could set up a TRUST with the 2 domains and call it a day, however this is not the case with SBS in the picture.

I'll need to make one comment relative to directors not wanting to provide funding. They've allocated funding for many different parts of this project, whether this is a merger, buyout, or just company "right-sizing," or whatever this deal is. It is unreasonable to expect that with such a transition, the IT infrastructure will not require funding for any changes, and it was an oversight on their part if they actually believed that.

OK enough lecturing from me.

A. Implementing VLAN's does nothing for you by itself; the actual solution of this recommendation is transitioning both IT infrastructures into a forest with the two child domains. This is probably the most robust solution, especially if there's a chance that the sites may do more together in the future, though it could be overkill if the sites will not be.

B. A gentler approach to solution A but along similar lines, may be transitioning site B's infrastructure from SBS to the full-blown components so that a trust relationship can be put into place between the 2 existing active directories. Doing this, site A employees would be able to log onto and access site A resources from site B workstations.

C. Another option may be to set up Term server(s) at site A such that site A employees at site B, can Term Service or RDP into site A to access site A resources as needed.

D. With a 100mb pipe, you can even install site A dedicated workstations at site B.

Hope this is helpful

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backs up my thoughts!

by LivingHell In reply to If you ask 10 engineers a ...

thanks Churdoo,
Your comments have helped. Comapny A staff at Site B will be permanent and will be pushing SBS close to its user limit (not a good idea!) I hadn't considered Terminal Server, so I'll dig into that option and see if that will help. I had thought of your option D. However I cost it out there's not an awful lot in it whatever the solution - so the Directors are just going to have to bite it! Unfortunately not one of them has a clue about IT and they 'trust' the consultant rather too much despite his obvious lack of knowledge.

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