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Windows Server Multiple Offices

I am supporting a business that has a main office in NJ.  The main office currently has 15 users.  They have a server running SBS 2003.  Active Directory and DHCP are handled by the server.  There is 300+GB of data stored on the server.  The main office has a cisco small business RV082

They recently relocated employees to Florida and set up an office there.  I know I can simply purchase another Router and setup a gateway to gateway VPN tunnel between routers so both offices are virtually on the same network.

I had a few questions though-

How will logging into the domain be from the 2nd office with the setup above..by having a gateway to gateway VPN connection between the two routers...slow fast etc?  I know this depends on the ISP in the Florida Office.  The NJ office has Cable ISP with 100 Mbps Down and 15 Mbps up.  Is there anything we can do to make logging in quicker if that becomes an issue with respect to putting a server in florida and letting that act as a DC as well...or something like that?
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fastteks0390
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fastteks0390
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1 Solution
 
xDUCKxCommented:
yes, you can put an RODC in the Florida office that will speed up logging in.  You can setup DFS that will allow sync'n of file shares to each site so that users in Florida can access local files (even if the NJ site is offline).  This would speed up access (But may slow down the pipe in general).

The more you keep off the pipe the better.  DHCP, DNS, Active Directory sync'n, File shares, etc.  If you can move this to local with daily replication or minimal replication then it will improve response time to services (And leave Facebook/Youtube nice and fast too  :-)
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xDUCKxCommented:
Sorry, 2003....you'd have to setup a secondary domain controller.  Skip the RODC comment as this is only supported in 2008
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Brad BouchardInformation Systems Security OfficerCommented:
I wouldn't worry about trying to setup a secondary DC in Florida, it's overkill.  That pipe you have in NJ is a mighty fast one and if Florida has even half that bandwidth you shouldn't see any issues logging in.  Still, what I might do is talk to your ISP about throttling your 100 down to something lower say like 85 down and bumping your upload speed up to 30.  85/30 allows much more room for incoming packets to come through from Florida which would be your bottleneck in NJ.  30 up as opposed to 15 also allows more room for AD responses while still maintaining network operations at high speeds in NJ.

Another thing to think about that might help with the management of the users in Florida is going to Terminal Services.  That way you manage all the apps, data, content, etc. in one place and users' Internet in Florida doesn't even have to be all that great.  Depending on how many users are in Florida this could be your best bet.

If your DC was 2008 however, an RODC MIGHT be an idea, so I don't know how soon an upgrade is/may be planned, but that's something to think about.
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fastteks0390Author Commented:
I would consider an upgrade as the NJ office has exceeded the way the server was setup orginally.  RAID 5, 3 HD's 150 GB each.. OS Partition is 20GB and DATA Partition 280GB...so if I were to upgrade the server..what better solutions would I have available to me?
The Florida Branch Office currently has a staff of 2 people..might go up to 5...would RODC be a good solution for that?

The nature of the business invloves uploading and renaming many jpeg files on a regular basis..would DFS handle that or does it work like a regular offsite backup that can't differentiate between image001.jpg and image001a.jpg assuming image001.jpg and image001a.jpg are the same file...the first was just renamed and the 2nd should no longer be seen by employees
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Brad BouchardInformation Systems Security OfficerCommented:
2 people is overkill for RODC in my opinion.  Terminal server is still the best, again, in my opinion.  DFS would work, however something that you should look into is Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Egnyte, etc.  All of those are cloud/enterprise storage and are extremely affordable, if not free, depending on the space you need.  They would be managed, and accessed centrally, as well as you not needing to worry about backing them up as they are backed up with all those services named above.  Until you grow more, I wouldn't keep storage onsite/locally unless you absolutely had to.
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Brad BouchardInformation Systems Security OfficerCommented:
As far as the upgrade, you would need a license of Server 2008 R2 and CALs to go along with that... probably around 10-15.  It would be relatively cheap.  Another thing to STRONGLY consider is waiting until September/October of this year as Server 2012 will be out.  Then you could just upgrade to that without having to buy a Server 2008 license and CALs and still being a generation behind in Server OS.
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fastteks0390Author Commented:
We attempted cloud and the owner was not happy with the results...so everything needs to be housed in house.  As far as the users are concerned they just want to see one mapped drive BUSINESS_DATA and they control all the folders and files in that drive.  On the back end I was just trying to find a solution that gave a quick response time regardless of if you were in the NJ office, the FL office or any new office they move to.
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Brad BouchardInformation Systems Security OfficerCommented:
Caching will help with this and should take care of itself for the most part.  The other option is a solution called Egnyte.  Enterprise cloud basically, and it has a virtual appliance you can install on the NJ end so that it acts just like a file server in house and is just as fast.
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