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Optimising network for roaming profiles?

Guys,  I'm seeking some advice on how I can optimise our network at work. I've started working here managing the network two months ago and they have no roaming profiles which is an absolute no no. I haven't double checked this, but I'm pretty sure we have 3 switches at 10/100 and NOT Gigabit. We have around 120 users, half of them use Terminal Services to log in from outside of Head Office. If I wanted to turn on roaming profiles, would you recommend that I first purchase a good few Gigabit switches?

Also, do you have any recommendations on optimising not only the network internally (if possible with the current 10/100 such as maybe combining them via VLAN?), but also increasing the speed at which people access TS? (i'm assuming the latter is a broadband issue).

Any help and advice would be fab.
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Yashy
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Yashy
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giltjrCommented:
First, do you know that 100 Mbps is causing a bottle neck?  

Upgrading to gigabit switches will help your over all internal network performance at least a little bit, but if the current 100 Mbps is not really causing a problem then you may not see much improvement.

Which switches are you using right now?

As for TS via from the Head Office.  What is the connection?  The Internet, or some type of "private" WAN link?

If the Internet, what bandwidth do both site have?  You mention broadband, so I am assuming at least one site has broadband, so you need to include both upstream and downstream speeds if the connection is asymmetrical.
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YashyAuthor Commented:
I don't know if the 100MPs is causing a bottle neck actually, but I'm worried that if I do then it will cause a problem. Purely because people's profiles at this company are MASSIVE, i'm talking about some of them being gigabytes due to the picture files they use. Therefore, if I switch on roaming then that will do it for all profiles right? Unless I can turn it on for just a select few?

Don't know the names of our switches currently, wish I did, but I'm quite sure they're 10/100mps 24 port switches.

For TS, people use their iinternet connection from the shops/stores to access information at head office. The broadband upload from Head Office is around 800kbits and the download is 8meg. The download from the shops/stores is around 5-8meg, their upload is around 512kbits. We wanted to create VPN connections, but realised that it would probably bottleneck the system if we did due to a lack in bandwidth.


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giltjrCommented:
You can setup individual users to have roaming profiles:

     http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738596%28WS.10%29.aspx

Well, any data transfer between data through-put between the remote locations and the head office would be limited to between 512-800 Kbps because that is the limit of the upload in either direction.

Broadband may be inexpensive, but it is not designed for sites that are hosting services.  When you host, you need more upstream bandwidth than most broadband options allow for.
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Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
KCTSCommented:
If you are going to use roaming profiles then I suggest that you also use re-directed folders so that the actual content of the profile is minimised and so that folders (an in particular "my documents" do not have to be sync'ed across the network each time a user logs on/off. In addition to redirecting My Documents, you can also re-direct the desktop and (less critical) application data and start menu
see http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/w2k3/gp/group_policy_folder_redirect.htm
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giltjrCommented:
Yes, I concur  100% with KCTS.  Using re-directed folders will keep the "junk" out of the their profile and thus keep network traffic down to a minimum when using roaming profiles.
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YashyAuthor Commented:
Giltjr and KCTS, you've both been very helpful. Thanks , really appreciate your help:).
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