Server 2012, Caching of Shares and Offline Files

Posted on 2014-08-04
Last Modified: 2014-08-11
I am in the process of setting up a new Windows Server 2012 file server and redirecting users My Documents folders to a UserData$ share.  I have setup the UserData$ share and enabled the "Allow caching of share" option.  The only description of this option is that it makes the contents of the share available to offline users.

Most of my users are internal users but I do have a handful of outside sales guys (that rarely come into the office) and some other internal people that travel frequently.  I am assuming that I have to leave the "Allow caching of share" option enabled to make the users My Documents available offline.  Correct?  I can then fine-tune how offline files work (or even disable offline files for some users) using group policies.  Correct?

For my outside sales guys, offline files is a pretty big deal as it allows their documents to sync with our server when joined to the network over a VPN connection.  This allows their files to be store on our file server and backed up nightly.  If their laptop dies or gets lost then all is not lost.  

With all of that said, is there any reason to not enable offline files for all users, both internal and external.  While offline files may rarely be utilized by someone sitting in HR that never leaves the office, I cannot find a reason to not leave offline files enabled for everyone.

I have read about the Windows Server 2012 Work Folders feature.  However, I am having trouble finding a reason to use it over offline files for my users.  Thoughts?
Question by:csimmons1324
    1 Comment
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    Two different technologies.. Work Folders allow access to the files from outside the lan, Offline files works for files on the lan.. Just because you make offline files available doesn't necessarily mean that they are kept in the users computer's offline folder the user can select whether or not to have them available offline.

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