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Hosting Domain Servers in one area and File Server in a different location

Hi! I need some advise. Would it be acceptable for the Domain Controllers to be hosted say at the office building where users are located and the file server is located at a different location? Don't ask me why this is being done, but I just need to know if this is implemented, and a log on script is set in place for users to map drives to the File server, can this be done, if the File Server is located in a different location? Would it be possible for log on scripts to map drives of File Servers which are located in different locations? If its possible, how is this done?
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ben1211
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ben1211
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3 Solutions
 
arnoldCommented:
It can, but the speed of the logins will depend on whether the fileserver is readily accessible.  IF the fileserver is not accessible, the login process will take a longer period of time while the attempt to map the drive timesout.

A DC can be a fileserver and can be setup with DFS/DFS-R.

If the separation is Geographic, you would need to have a VPN between the LAN on one side with the device and the LAN on the other.
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ben1211Author Commented:
yes the seperation is geographic. so with the use of a VPN, how does the file server shared drives get mapped to the user's PC upon log on?

the moment you log on to your PC with the domain username and password, the log on script runs. It runs, but VPN has not been established. So how do the shared drives get mapped?
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arnoldCommented:
An existing VPN between sites is triggered on accesses.
I.e. there is a request for a resource that is matched to the VPN. The VPN connection is triggered. (this would delay the first logon).  Another option is to configure the VPN to be persistent i.e. always connected (unless there is an issue i.e. the other side lost connectivity to the net).

Please look at the alternative of setting up DFS/DFS-r such that the files will replicate between the DC and the fileserver and the file will only cross the broadband connection once.
Caveat with DFS/DFS-R  the lock file created when word/excel opens a file does not get replicated because it is seen in use.  So someone else at a different location with a similar setup can also be working on the same file.  DFS-R has a conflict resolution mechanism such that it is possible one set of the changes will be "discarded".

An alternative, is to use a single document management interface that will deal with checking out/in documents and will maintain a single access as well as maintain versions of the document.
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ben1211Author Commented:
Hi Arnold, my apologies for not getting back sooner. I don't understand your answer.

My question was: the moment you log on to your PC with the domain username and password, the log on script runs. It runs, but VPN has not been established. So how do the shared drives get mapped?

With regards to that question, what do you mean by:
"An existing VPN between sites is triggered on accesses.
I.e. there is a request for a resource that is matched to the VPN. The VPN connection is triggered. (this would delay the first logon).  Another option is to configure the VPN to be persistent i.e. always connected (unless there is an issue i.e. the other side lost connectivity to the net)"
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arnoldCommented:
The login/gpo process is what establishes the IPSEC/VPn connection to the fileserver and then maps the drive.

An alternative is that a VPN connection is configured in a site to site configuration where the router at the office is always connected to the router at the hosting location.

RouterA at the host has VPN capabilities, RouterB at the office has VPN capabilities. A vpn is configured.  Often, the VPN has an idle timeout setting i.e. no traffic flowing, there is no point on keeping the VPN connection active. The VPN drops/disconnects. The configuration on each side though has the information that if traffic from hosted location to the LAN in the Office is seen or vice versa, the router will see that that traffic goes over the VPN and will trigger the establishment of the VPN connection.
If either side loses its connection, the VPN can not be reestablished.
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ben1211Author Commented:
I found it difficult to picture and understand the solution.
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