How do you handle people with laptops?

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Just looking for some best practices, or at least better practices.

I want to start replacing desktops with laptops. I got a few Thinkpads and they just came in. going to start configuring them. I have 3 users I am testing this with. 1 knows nothing about computers, 1 knows something and will stumble, but will eventually get it, and the other will need little instruction.

I got docking stations for all of the computers. I would like it if they were able to work from anywhere at anytime.

Anyone have some ideas on how they handle laptops in their organizations?
Question by:agmmccit
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Usually use docking stations and give them an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.  If the docking station didn't come with a second power supply, get one to keep on the docking station at all times.  Also, wire the docking station so they aren't on wireless when in the office.

    In Outlook, make sure you used Cached mode.  Also setup RPC over HTTP so they can get their exchange outside the office.

    If they need to access the office from outside, setup a VPN client.

    Make sure they login to the laptop first in the office before they leave so their credentials will be cached.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    After googling around, has anyone setup DirectAccess with Win 7 and Server 2008R2.

    Looks pretty much like the best thing ever!
    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    True and you will also want to login to each of the computer as the domain admin as well so those credentials are cached.

    Another option instead of VPN is a Terminal Server which is great if the laptops are not quick and for security if you don't want files saved on the laptops where they can be lost or stolen. (VPN connection will require drive mappings via gpo or a batch file on he desktop to map the drives)

    Also you can use bitlocker if you have Windows Ultimate to lock down the laptops in case they are stolen as well... or another form of drive encryption. (Only problem with drive encryption is  a disgruntled employee may change the password on the computer and cause youa headache)

    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    Unfortunately our environment does not support direct access, however I have heard it is good. The problem is the cost of infrastructure to get it going if you are not riding the wave.
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    I have found laptops a bad idea for a number or reasons, security, repairing and the list goes on and on. Are you 100% that laptops are necessary? I will at minimum give them limited accounts, with everything locked down and have the encryption turned on as well.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    OK after looking at DirectAccess some more, it looks like thats the way for us to go. I am going to set it up for a test user first and see how they do with it.

    XMLmagician, check out DirectAccess if you havent yet. Seems like you can manage a laptop with that as if it was on your LAN. You can push updates, do RDP sessions, get backups, and enforce GP on them no matter where they go.

    Also yes, BitLocker will be enabled for encryption.

    Also, they currently do have limited accounts, so doing that with laptops will be nothing new.

    I am gonna close this out. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts.

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