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Domain network vs Workgroup network

Posted on 2008-10-14
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our school has approx 85 staff computers in a workgroup, 20 lab computers that are on a domain for active directory. I was told that over ten computers you should use a domain. Can anyone tell me why i should use a domain? what are the pros and cons of each.
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Question by:stevek65
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by:KCTS
KCTS earned 240 total points
ID: 22710995
its a "no brianer". Yes 10 concurrent connectiona are all that are permitted on a workgroup so you don't reaaly have much choice!

if you have a domain then you can manage all users and computers certrally - you will not have the problem of the same user having different logon names/passwords on  different machines -admin generally is much easier as ita all in one place
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Patricck earned 260 total points
ID: 22711009
A domain is a collection of computers on a network that share a common
user
database and security policy. A domain is administered as a unit with
common
rules and procedures by the domain administrator.

A workgroup is a group of computers connected to each other over a
network and sharing computer files, printers, and other resources. All
computers on a network that wish to share resources must be members of
the same workgroup.

So what does this mean? If you set up your system as a domain, you
will need to allocate two machines to act as the primary and backup
domain controllers. They CAN be used for other things (like database
or fileserver) but using them as a normal user machine is a no-no.
Typically, you create one account per user on the domain, and that one
account is then valid on every machine on the domain and gives the
same user's settings - so a user can use any machine as if it was
their own. If the users changes their password, the password changes
for the whole domain and for every machine for which the users are
authorised to have access.

In a workgroup, typically, users would have to go to each machine and
change their password. Changes to profiles would have to be repeated,
machine after machine.

So a workgroup becomes impractical for a large number of machines,
particularly where users don't have machines dedicated solely to them,
e.g. hot desk.

Domains:
Advantages
1. One location for all user accounts, groups and computers, passwords are same for all computers.
2. Easier and quicker to maintain
3. Scales easier if you add more users and computers

Disadvantages
1. Requires a windows server
2. Complex to set up

Workgroups:
Advantages
1. Useful for small networks (10 or less computers)
2. Very easy to setup
3. No additional knowledge required
4. No server required.

Disadvantages
1. Need to setup account and password on each and every machine.
2. Passwords can become out of sync, if changed on one computer and not others
3. No easily scalable. If using more than 10 computers, the number of accounts to set up increases a lot more
4. More time required to setup for new users!
5. If using file sharing, you may reach the 10 max simultaneous connections limit
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by:KCTS
ID: 22711031
opps some typos their but I think you get the drift

its a "no brianer". Yes 10 concurrent connections are all that are permitted on a workgroup so you don't really have much choice!

If you have a domain then you can manage all users and computers centrally - you will not have the problem of the same user having different logon names/passwords on  different machines -admin generally is much easier as its all in one place.

Security is tighter and you can enforce policies and settings with Group Policies, deploy software, control software deployment and use etc...
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by:KCTS
ID: 22711063
... if you are going to copy chunks from http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t197956-domain-or-workgroup.html then it should be acknowledged :-)
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by:stevek65
ID: 22975422
If we use a domain setup, where are the user files located? Can the user login to the local machine and use the files an applications on the local machine or does everything come from the domain. Doesn't the user have to login to the domain to use the same securities as the domain? I guess I don't understand that if they belong to the domain but login to the local machine how they are using the securities as the domain.
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by:KCTS
ID: 22980666
On a domain the user accounts are loated on the server (in active directory). The applicationa are normally installed on the locl machine. The user will log on to the domain uaing their domain account, but they can still run applications from the local machine.

The users files can be located on the local machine, or they can be stored on the server. Stoting files on the server means that you can back-up the files easier and of course users can share files easier and access their own files no matter which machine they log on at.

At the same time the domain lets you manage security from a single point.
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Author Comment

by:stevek65
ID: 22981492
So, if you login to the domain, but the applications and data files are on the local machine, what is the advantage of a domain???
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by:KCTS
ID: 22981554
You get the most benefit of course is uses store their data on the server and you can decide who has what permissions on which files and folders. You can centrally manage you users, computers and software. You can set up policies on the domain which are then implimented on all workstations. Users can log on to any machine in the domain (subject to restrictions that you can decide to impose) and unlike in a workgroup, if they change the password, then its a universal change.

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by:KCTS
ID: 22981565
See this for a more detailed expanation
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc785860.aspx
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Author Comment

by:stevek65
ID: 22981581
So, it's pretty much like roaming profiles. If the user stores their files on the local machine and use the applications that are installed on the local machine, what is the real benefit? I must be missing something.
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by:KCTS
ID: 22981602
You are missing a lot - an awful lot. As I said its really all about being able to centrally mange your systems, provide managed services and control secuiity in a structured and systematic way thats just not possible with a workgroup.
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