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New Setup -- Your Thoughts................

Good afternoon everyone.  I am pretty new here and some what new to networking so forgive my ignorance on some of these questions.  I've just been assigned the wonderful task of designing and implementating a new project that will connect 4 different sites country wide.  Here is the concept.  There will be a main datacenter that will be the file repository of all the engineering files from all 4 sites (acutally another topic in the storage forum :) ).  Each site will have its own file/application server that the companies will use to analize their own engineering data.  Once the analizing is done, then the data will need to be replicated back to the datacenter for storage and future analization/collabration.  One thing to remember, is that each company has access to the network already and has been assigned different IP's  So, the stump factor here is how do I setup the network and/or servers to accomplish this?  Would I have the datacenter server act as the AD server and then just have the other servers join the domain through their existing network even if thats possible?  Or, do I need to buy a class C lets say or a block of IP's so that all of the servers are on the same ip string?  The other stumper is that each site will have 4-5 local computers that will need to access the local server.  So do all of these servers need AD loaded on them and the clients then log into their domain?  Its almost like a AD question but need help on the networking.....Was so use to the PDC / BDC thing and then MS has to go and do this to me :) ... tks everyone in advance.... hope this wasnt too stupid  :)...
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D00Dness
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D00Dness
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
First, if it were me, I would put a DC at every location.  You really don't want to be authenticating and pushing Group Policy over sites.  You will create one Forest, with 4 Domains.  Then link them together and use FRS to keep everything sync'd up.  Probably the easiest way to explain all this is to give you MS articles that may help...  

Designing the Site Topology

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/deployguide/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/deployguide/en-us/dssbd_topo_mkll.asp

Then use FRS and DFS (Distributed File System) to sync up your data store...

Windows 2003 DFS (Distributed File System) (A how-to guide on the setup...)

http://www.wown.com/articles_tutorials/Windows2003-Distributed-File-System.html
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D00DnessAuthor Commented:
@ Fatal Exception -- Thanks for the information.  Do you happen to have any tutorials or information on how to do this 'hookup' of the domains?  I cant seem to find it on MS.  FRS and DFS are very new to me, tks for the articles.  Also, in the network area, people where suggesting using a VPN tunnel to hook the sites together, do you recommend this even though after todays meeting, i just found out that this is a closed research and development network and does not touch the internet at all?  Thanks again...

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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
MS (on the sites outlined above) have an abundance of information on this.  The problem is wading through it all to get what you need.  Personally, I keep a copy of Mark Minasi's W2003 book on my desk, in case I need a reference.  This is what I recommend to anyone interested in learning how to use the newest server edition.  His writing is easy to understand, unlike many White Papers out there.  Also, you may want to subscribe to MCP magazine (visit their on-line site), along with InformIT...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0782141307/102-8403192-1838527?v=glance

http://www.mcpmag.com/

http://www.informit.com/articles/index.asp

VPN tunnels will provide you with a secure way to replicate the data (and AD database store), so I do agree with the recommendation....  But since this is a closed loop, you will not need it..
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Glad to be of help, and thanks..

FE
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D00DnessAuthor Commented:
Not a problem... I'm still in the research phase, so I hope you dont mind if more questions come your way :) ... tks again... .

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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Absolutely..  anytime..!!  :)
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