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RDP client: join to a domain or not?

Posted on 2010-11-29
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi,

We have a main office and 3 branch offices. Each branch office is connected with a lan-to-lan VPN connection.

We are having some discussion about what would be best practise regarding RDP clients and if they should be standalone machines or connected to the domain.

Standalone machines, with just a RDP client are more difficult to manage, but performance wise seem to be more faster than when joined to a domain.

Domain connected machines need special policys (disable folder redirection etc), but since they are connected can be managed and monitored. The performance however seems to be lower since DNS requests are all done over the VPN tunnel for example.

This, and other arguments got me wandering what's best practice and are there any recommended settings.
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Question by:Constant IT Support
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Expert Comment

by:moon_blue69
ID: 34229208
You can still have it in domain and streamline things so that there is no much traffic across the wan. If possible you can have your child domains in each of the branch offices for authentication locally. DNS can be setup by a caching only DNS server. So the traffic will be minimal.

Or you can leave the domain controller where it is and configure a local caching only dns server. Keep user files locally.
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Author Comment

by:Constant IT Support
ID: 34229220
The branch offices only have a VPN router, and 1 of 2 desktops. There's no server in those locations.

If you say "streamline", what do you have in mind. I'd say this would be documented by MS, but cant find any good info.
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moon_blue69 earned 1500 total points
ID: 34229272
some of this document will throw some light.

In your case users should be using local profiles and home folders should be set locally. If you do not have plans for a local dns then dns traffic has to pass through the tunnel.

Search for "satellite office" that exactly matches your branch office.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=e4d25d08-ae40-4c5c-ac81-eaacdc9923d3

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee791847%28WS.10%29.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/2007/04/09/bandwidth-allocation-for-terminal-server-connections-over-rdp.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:Constant IT Support
ID: 34264947
Would have liked to see some actual documentations with for instance router and/or group policy optimizations for satellite offices.
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