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Which operating systems across a WAN?

By jon ·
Basics:

Windows 2003 Enterprise Server at the corporate office running active directory.

5 branch offices (6 total locations)

DSL or Cable-Modem at each branch, T1 at Headquarters.

Each location would have linksys managed switches and Netopia routers.

The corporate server will be full blown with all the bells and whistles.

The questions:

1. In order to process logons effectively, given there's going to be a slow connection at each branch, do I need to install a dialed down server with simple redundancy and perhaps a single processor at each branch location with Active Directory installed?

2. If I install Windows 2003 Server on these branch computers, can it be Standard, or does it have to also be Enterprise?

3. What mechanism within 2003 server will allow me to replicate user profiles across all of the branches so each user can logon quickly at each branch. During night hours, I would imagine files would be replicated into an identical folder on each server and the user settings in Active Directory would point the user profile to that branch profile folder based on their physical location.

4. Should I ditch user profiles completely? If so, what regulates personal settings for users when they visit another branch to work?

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by BFilmFan In reply to Which operating systems a ...

1: Each of the sites should be an AD site with a domain controller.

2: Yes, it can be standard.

3: Distributed File System will replicate files between shares, but I don't recommend it if you have slow links.

4: How many people are visiting between sites to do work? If it is a large number, then your WAN might need a bandwidth upgrade.

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by CG IT In reply to Which operating systems a ...

Sites with slow links, a fair amount of users [think everyone at once trying to login in the morning and you get the picture of network overload] should have a DC with the GC role to facilitate logins.

Also your overall infrastructure and AD design will dictate the placement of servers and server roles.

You can run Standard Edition Windows 2003 Server that is a DC at any site.

AD replication across WAN links can be scheduled to occur during off peak hours.

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