Active Directory over the Internet

Posted on 2006-05-05
Last Modified: 2010-07-27
I am interested in setting up Active Directory to work over the internet. What I mean is that I have a domain controller in one location and I want PCs in other locations to access it. Here is what I have currently

Location One: (Datacenter) -
1 - Windows 2003 SP1 server setup with AD as the DC and DNS
1 - Windows 2003 SP1 server setup as a web server
1- Windows 2003 SP1 server setup as a development server

The 3 servers are joined by a router/firewall and all connected to the domain. I can access all servers with multiple static ips mapped to internal ips. The servers are working great and can pull all the information I need.

Multiple Locations: (Satellite Offices) -
I have multiple little satellite offices with one or two computers and I want to join them to the domain. All have broadband internet connections.

I have researched a lot and looked at the Windows 2003 R2 with ADFS as a possible option. Seeing that this a small operation I am curious if that is what I need to do. Is there a better method for what I want to accomplish?

I can get my way around networking pretty good, but this is a little above my head. What I am looking for are some steps to take to get my remote computers to join the domain I have setup in the datacenter. I appreciate any assistance you can provide and if I have neglected to provide any vital information please let me know and I will be happy to respond with it. Thank you for your time in advance.

Best regards,
Question by:bzappdev
    LVL 51

    Accepted Solution

    All you need is a point-to-point connection from the satellite offices to the datacenter firewall.  Frame, DSL, T1 - as long as you can create a VPN tunnel to the edge device for your servers then you are good to go.

    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    I agree with Netman, and would say that either a site-to-site VPN or a simply remote user VPN will work just fine.  With just 1 or 2 computers, and the fact that they are "internal" to your organization, I see no reason to mess with ADFS for that.
    LVL 74

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    Since your servers are all running Server 2003, you can actually accomplish this without any additional external devices if you have two NICs in each server.  

    Windows Server 2003 is capable of creating an IPSec VPN Tunnel with other Windows Server 2003 machines natively.  See this KB for the how-to:

    However since you are still in the planning stages, I'd suggest you review Microsoft's Solutions for Branch offices to see what fits for your particular situation:


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