best way to setup remote office to use roaming profiles?

its been a while since i setup a remote office.  right now i have one office1(medford) with a dc and all computers are on domain there. the other office2(hamm) is 30min away on a separate internet connection, they vpn into office 1 through xp and when connected they run there application.  office 2 is still on a workgroup after i moved all of office 1 to the domain.  what is the best way to go about setting up office 2 so that they can use roaming profiles in both offices?   Do i need to setup a site to site vpn? Dont i need connectivity the whole time to pull profile and not just after they load desktop and click to connect through vpn.  All users want everything to move with them so i suggested roaming profiles but wasnt sure of proper way of setting up with different offices, thanks
Inbox360Asked:
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TrilotechCommented:
Roaming profiles are REALLY going to hurt over the internet. Profiles can get pretty large.

Anyway, I think your easiest solution would be a hardware vpn solution. Linksys, Netgear, SonicWall all offer vpn routers. Put one on each end and configure a little routing and you are set!
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Encrypted1024Commented:
If all of your data is at one location, maybe a terminal server is the answer. Then users from site two remote into the TS at site 1. You wouldn't even need a server at site two and the PC's don't need to join the Domain. Just a possible solution without having much info. If you are interested I  can provide more details.
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nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Roaming profiles can work BUT you will have to do some fine tuning to make it work:
- Don't roam all data may just their printers, Internet bookmarks and some of their application Data directories.
- Setup a GPO to redirect their My Documents and  and desktop to a server based location.

One thing to keep in mind, the bigger their profile grows, the more data you will have to roam and if you don't have the server diskspace roaming profiles can take a long timeto load, especially across the WAN
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Roaming profiles over the wan is just an all around bad idea unless you have insane bandwith (at least 10Mb up and Down, more like 100 up and down). Even if you redirect folders to the server, you still need to replicate that data to both locations. Then you have to make all sorts of site policies to tell your profile which location you are in and to map to there. And then use DFS or something to replicate the data across to both locations. It will be messy and probably be broken more often that it works.
I am not sure if TS is the solution for you but roaming profiles is not.
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Inbox360Author Commented:
please tell me more about setting up ts, they only have 2 computers so i can set it up without having to get extra licenses right? can i do roaming profiles at office 1 with the server and setup ts for the other office? please give more details, this is great info!
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Sure. Terminal Servers can be great for remote users if you want to easily control their environment. They can remote in and have drives mapped to the local server and log onto the domain and receive policy and scripts. No matter where they logged into the TS from they would have the same profile. The best scenario would be to set up a site to site VPN to access the TS over the WAN. If not, you can forward ports on your router (less secure).
It depends on your environment and what exactly you need. A TS environment will not suit every purpose. You may want to just set up a VPN between the site and join the PC's over there to your domain. I would not mess around with roaming profiles but you could still map drives back to the server at the main site and receive group policy. .
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Inbox360Author Commented:
i dont want to setup a site to site vpn.  i can have 2 computers on ts without getting any extra licenses right? also i have folder redirection on all the people in office 1, so all there stuff with follow because its just like sitting on a computer at main office with ts right?
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Yes, it will be just like sitting on a computer at head office for the most part. Yes, you should be able to have 2 TS users without additional licenses. Yes you can use TS without VPN. You will have to forward port 3389 to your TS. I would recomend using an obscure external port like 37000 or something and forward it 3389 internally. Then open your RDP session with IPADDRESS:PORT. This will give you a bit better security since you will not be using the VPN.
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Microsoft renamed Terminal Server with Windows 2008 to Remote Desktop Services.
Here is the overview from MS:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/rds-product-home.aspx
 
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Inbox360Author Commented:
my final question is.  can i setup romaing profiles for office 1 and setup ts for office 2 and ts can handle the roaming profiles?  we have a 7mb connection at office 2 and a 15mb connection at office 1.
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Encrypted1024Commented:
Yes. The TS can use roaming profiles as well as Office 1 since the TS will be physically located at Office 1. Whether a user logs on to the TS or to a PC at Office 1 they will get the same profile.
Your internet connections will be great for a TS session. Keep in mind that those are your download rates. You will likely find that your upload rates are closer to 512kbps and 1 Mbps which will be your limiting factors.
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