Best practices for Laptops in enterprise network environment
Posted on 2006-04-11
Environment: Windows 2000/2003 network, Active Directory, Windows XP desktop workstations and XP laptops ..., one forest, one domain, several site offices, each office has one DC, each office has a different subnet; mobile users traveling between offices.
Users & Workstations: Windows XP only, workstations managed thru AD Group Policy, Group Policy managed softwatre Installation, Roaming User Profiles, Folder Redirection, no local drives visible on workstations etc...,
I am looking for best practices for laptops in such environment. We have several users traveling from office to office and switching from laptops to desktop workstations and vice versa..., (the same user can not see local drive when using a workstation but will be able to see local drive on the laptop)
What is the best setup for such users and laptops ? what profiles should we use - local or roaming profiles ? What is the best practice for software installation on laptops in this environment - Group Policy managed software installation or manual software installation ? Also most of these laptops are interminently connected to our corporate network - sometimes these laptops may not be connected to the network for a few weeks... and users need ability to work offline or over a slow link connection ...
How to resolve installation problems over a slow link - for example: 192.168.1.1 is a base office for let's say LAPTOP1, the software is installed thru AD GP while the laptop is in a base office (192.168.1.1) then the user goes to the office where the subnet is 192.168.5.1, both offices are connected over a slow link. When the user is in 192.168.5.1 office , some software installation changes exist (for example new software was added to the software installation policy in Active Directory) on the server in 192.168.1.1 office. After refreshing GP on the LAPTOP1 or restarting it the software is being pushed to the laptop, but the problem is that the installation is from 192.168.1.1 over a slow connection - and the user can not do anything until this installation is done... How to avoid situatuions like this ?
Thanks for yor help