I have three business locations and want them all one Domain HELP!

By a4bigturbo ·
This may be harder then I think but I am still going to ask. As of right now here is how the network is setup. The main office location houses a Domain controller/DHCP server. That goes to our OC-3 connection and from that goes to a dell 24 port gigabit switch. From that switch it brances out to a series of four other servers in the server room. I have three game servers connected, and a file server with around 5TB of data space. From there are about 8 workstations with Windows XP professional. That about does it for the main office location. The DHCP and domain is setup perfect, but I do not know a thing about how to get our Tucson, and Glendale, AZ locations connected to the main site. The ideal idea is for my domain controller to house all of the users and the remote sites use the same users over there instead of having to redo all of the users over and over. Also I am having problems at the main site on automatically mapping network drives to users. I am unsure of how to do that. So the main ideal senerao is this. The main Phoenix location with everthing is working minus mapped network drives. I want the Tucson location to hookup to my main site, and the Glendale location to hook up to the main site all on one domain. The Glendale location has a series of servers there also I want all to be connected directly to the domain controller. There are two 2u dell 2650's. a Dell 1550. A custom 4u file server. I am assuming I need a domain controller over there too? If so what do I do? There are about 6 client computers over there too I want all on the same domain and all users controlled at the main domain site. Also two 4u Dells at the Tucson location. Same situation. Let me know how to proceed. I am so lost and do not know were to start. One last thing I want to make sure that the remote locations are using their own internet not tunneling through to me then using mine. I have had a problem were that is how it was before and I do not want to do it that way again. Also if possible I would like the domain/DHCP at the main location to assign IP addresses to the remote sites too. I feel that would give me more control over the company at one location. The main thing I want out of this is to be able for the remote client computers to be able to map the network drive of the 5TB storage at the main location. That is the key thing here, and make it as if everything was part of one big internal network. Thanks for yoru time. Also if you guys have any time please let me know how I can setup outlook email, the server that is running domain/dhcp is a quad xeon and can handle running an email server. My idea is to have users outside the network be able to connect to a website and login to their outlook email over the internet, I know SBS 2003 supports it, I just don't know how to make it work. I am assuming if we get all of that working we can also use printers at remote locations so if I am at the main location I can print to a printer in Tucson? If anyone at all is willing to help with this let me know, I am also willing to let them connect through remote desktop on all of the 11 servers to configure this. Please email me or reply here at Thanks. I am sorry about the long post. Let me know if it is not clear enough.

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A start...

by scott_heath In reply to I have three business loc ...

What type of WAN connections do you have to the other two sites? If you don't have a high speed connection it can make life difficult. I am assuming you have a router of some sort, maybe a Cisco? If so you can get DSL at the two sites if they don't already have it and use a site-to-site VPN tunnel. I believe you could use a Cisco 800 series at all 3 sites. In terms of Cisco routers they aren't very expensive.

Having a domain controller at each site will speed up logins for the remote site users significantly, so do it if you can. All you have to do is build Windows server then run dcpromo to make them domain controllers. AD is a disctributed db so all of the DCs would contain a copy of the AD DB. Then you can just give users permission to the file system as you see fit.

If you don't already have the correct network infrastructure than it will be your most difficult project to tackle.

If you have more detailed questions after reading this please post again.

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Hire a consultant !!!!!!!!!! (a real one)

by 1bn0 In reply to I have three business loc ...

Your level of expertise obviously does not include this level of configuration.

You are running a business. Setting things up from scratch would be easier than converting an existing infrastructure. You need to maintain the business as you go forward. You also need to have expert help avaiable as you run into issues.

Hire a firm, not an individual. If you don't want them to perform the work, at least get them to map it out for you. A networking expert can explain the options and accossiated requirements and let you decide where to go from there.

I am currently working at a large manufacturing comany. 4 locations, 2 countries. We are going to upgrade from our current patchwork arrangement to a properly designed AD setup . Just what you are looking for.

We did not do the design work ourselves. WE hired experts. People who do this kind of thing on a regular basis. People who know the pitfalls and how to avoid them. People who know what NOT TO DO!

They have provided design implementation documents for both the active directory integration and Exchange migration.

We have already implemented the necessary network upgrades to support this. We could continue on our own if we have to but our job is to maintain what we already have. We would need to hire just to handle the extra workload anyway.

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Many things to consider before completing design.

by ggrimes In reply to I have three business loc ...

I know what you are trying to accomplish and it is complex. Let me pass along first what's not going to work well in your concept. I am assuming from your conversation that all branch offices have
1. independent internet connections
2. You are looking to VPN or connect PC's through their internet access.
The concept you describe having the DCC assign ip address won't work unless you have direct lines T1's or better to all locations.
Assuming all this is true then what needs to happen is to establish a VPN tunnel to connect all offices router to router. IP's are assigned by the router based on local internet ip's available. What you will actually be doing is Bridging all your zones together so all pc's can access each other.
What you really need to happen is if the internet goes down or fouls up for all the pc's to be able to function independently.
So this is one of the way's to accomplish this goal. We setup the DCC for roaming Network profiles. This forces network users to log into the domain controller to access network services. What will happen then is the local machine will copy that profile locally to the resident pc. Next we configure each machine with local profiles. This allows users to log in to their machines without network access. Yes, when configures successfully user folders and their data can be stored on the designated file server and printer can all be shared. The next issue in a successful design is an inventory of all the software you are running. All has to researched proberly to learn how they will behave in this environment. Example, I configured a Doctors office to use a VPN and access a medical database on the main DCC and file server. When completed the remote was so slow it was unacceptable. The choices to correct were to upgrade the line to a T1 or change medical accounting/records software to a new vendor were the software designed to work in this environment. What I's trying to say is there are more than a 1000 things to consider and do before committing to a solution. I recommend using a professional. Keep in mind network professionals do not write the software you are using and if certain questions are not asked that lack of information may cause an issue to deal with when implementing your solution. If all the Machines in your network are not identical then individual hardware profiles for each machine will need to be created. This is so when the network user profile is copied to the local machine the hardware profile of the local machine will be used instead. Other considerations will be file usage any possibility that more than one user will access a file at the same time then the network versions or Groupware will need to be deployed and may need to be done anyways depending. Hope this helps.f I'll email my contact info if you like to talk further.

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