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windows 2003 ad design. branch office.

By desiv10 ·
i have 1 main office using win 2003 server, this is where all the main applications reside, i have a smaller branch office in NJ. 5 people that rdp into the main office to use applications.

i want to put a server in the branch office. how should i set it up?
1) install win 2003 and premote it to a DC?
2) should i make a subdomain like


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Don't use subdomains

by RicardoMenendez In reply to windows 2003 ad design. b ...

I'm not sure whether you actually need that second DC in the first place. How do you connect your branch office to the main office? If it's through a VPN with enough bandwidth to remotely control user PCs from your main office you should have enough bandwidth to run logon processes as well as Outlook logons on your Exchange server. If they need file sharing, network printing and all that you might need a server. That doesn't mean it has to be a DC. You can install it as a member server to start. Promote it if you expect the office to grow beyond that number of users, need an extra copy of the global catalog for backup purpose, etc. Forget about subdomains, they are useful for large companies and only add administration overhead to SMBs (small and medium businesses) What apps are going to run over the VPN? What bandwidth connecting both offices do you expect to have?

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by desiv10 In reply to Don't use subdomains

connected using a T-1. sql server applicatons and terminal server.

i prob set up a DC. should i DNS on the DC on branch office or just point them to DNS at the main site.

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by swnz In reply to

You need to think carefully if a DC really is required, as you may be adding overhead to your network architecture that really is not warranted.

What exact issue leads you towards establishing one at the remote site?

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I agree.DC can cause overhead

by RicardoMenendez In reply to

I agree totally. An additional DC can help out if a lot of AD changes take place at the remote site but being such a small office that wouldn't be my number 1 priority. I would set up a plain 2K3 member server to take care of DHCP, file sharing and printing. Once the office grew past at least 10 people I would consider upgrading functionality to DC or DNS.
IMPORTANT: Remember to modify Sites and Services if you promote a server to DC. You must create a new site for the server in order to throttle replication. Unless you do that users at the remote site might be logging into your main site's server anyway.

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DNS at the main site

by RicardoMenendez In reply to

I think pointing to the DNS at the main site should do. The amount of DNS traffic won't affect your main site's DNS or server's overall performance.

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by somebozo In reply to Don't use subdomains

DC traffic over remote connectivity such as VPN or leased lines is not recommend since they eat up considerable amount of bandwidth. what could be done is a child DC with a copy of GC.. this gives u enough resources on hand to expand the branch office. Obviously this solution is only useful if u have enough computers at branch office to justify the use of child DC.

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number of DC's at your current site?

by lsmith1989 In reply to windows 2003 ad design. b ...

The reason I ask is because it is good to have at least 2 Dc's and 2 of everything for redundancy purposes no matter how small the company. If you already have 2 DC's at your main site, then no need to have another at your remote branch office unless you want to geographically disperse the DC's.

Not sure if this would apply to your specific configuration/company but this is how I would design it:

1 DC at each site, both Global Catalogs. Define your sites and set your replication intervals.
Run AD integrated DNS and have both DC's become a DNS server.

Leave all of the FSMO (Operations Masters) roles at your main office.

Although it is a good idea to seperate the DC's from all other functions, you can have the DC provide other services if it can handle it or have all other services run from the central location.

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by desiv10 In reply to windows 2003 ad design. b ...

i will prob use 1 dc at each site. the remote site will eventually become the main office. its prob good to have redundancy.

does AD use significant bandwith for replications? i thought it compresses it?

thanks guys for the speedy reply.

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Good solution

by RicardoMenendez In reply to

That's the best option. It is not as significant as to worry about if Sites and Services is properly configured and replication of AD objects is carried outside working hours. I use a 180 minute span outside working hours and no replication within unless it's necesary. You can force manual replication at any given time through Sites and Services or Replmon. Pay close attention at first to the directory event log. That's the key to know if everything is going well replication wise.

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by brajaji In reply to windows 2003 ad design. b ...

to ans this
1.what is ur DNS name of ur server ie
2. if the user connecting to ur office by internet( any remore s/w to connect)if this is the case
3. please go ahead and Take all data backup of ur system
and install win2003 server higer edition and use DCPROMO for making it domain Controller and DNS and DHCP
4.i think it will suffice ur need

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