Several different office sites on the one WAN or VPN

Hi Experts,

I am after some opinions on the best way to set up the following scenario. Currently my organisation has 7 different office sites throughout the state. At the moment each site has it's own individual domain servers and email is looked after individually at each site. We want to move to a scenario that all sites are connected to servers at the one central location. I am wondering if a VPN scenario is the best scenario or should I be looking at a private WAN set up by our service provider.

Whatever way it is done I would want one set of servers at our head office for domain, exchange and anything else.

Can anyone provide me with information or point me in the right direction to figure out how to set this up and also any actual hardware recommendations.

Many thanks in advance
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ezekuelAsked:
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
A VPN or WAN connection pretty much still requires one server per site to run as a local domain controller for authentication and file access it you want to maintain performnce.

As a result I would recommend Exchange, file servers, and one or more (depending on the number of users) terminal servers at a central location.  With this configuration these is no need for VPN's or a WAN, no need for local DC's, and users can use Terminal Services for all file access and e-mail, or use rpc/http for e-mail.
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ujitnosCommented:
VPN will be a cheaper solution if you have VPN supported devices like Routers/Firewalls etc at each sites. WAN, like an MPLS might cost more.

You can make use of one set of superior hardware that you already have in any of your site for the Exchange, domain etc requirements.
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ezekuelAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Money really isn't a major issue as we have budgeted for this and want to do it right. I am concerned VPN would be quite slow. What kind of price would we be looking at for a WAN?
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ujitnosCommented:
VPN will only be slow if you have a low bandwidth link to the internet from your sites.
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