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Just to add more domain controller or not?

Posted on 2014-09-15
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Last Modified: 2014-10-03
We just acquired a small facility with only 5 computers currently with workgroup. Our HQ currently is with 2003 AD. I've been thinking if we should add one more DC to that facility and have that DC to sync up with my two other DCs in head quarter but would it become an issue since the number of DCs gets bigger and bigger since more acquisitions are coming?
Or have the 5 computers dial up VPN (as needed, not site-to-site) to my HQ to connect the DCs? Any pros / cons. What do you recommend?
Thanks.
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Question by:Castlewood
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by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 500 total points
ID: 40323452
the only issue is that if there is no site-to-site connectivity that would introduce problems with the domain controllers not talking to each other frequently.  vpn connection might be the best for the time being for those 5 systems
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by:Daniel Kline
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ID: 40323471
The most common reasons for adding a DC at each location is for survivability and performance.  AD authentication and authorization can be slow over "the wire".  This tends to create grumpy users, especially if there are any network transport issues.  With a local DC (which needn't be much of a device) the authentications and authorizations can be local.  You could even configure the device as a RODC (Read-only) Domain Controller.  In the event of a link loss with the headquarters, the users could still access all resources on the local net because they can authenticate with the local DC.  Small servers these days are so cheep, that it's difficult to justify the budget savings on equipment when factored against the cost of lost or slow productivity.

Hope this helps.
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by:Natty Greg
Natty Greg earned 500 total points
ID: 40324343
both experts above have great points, it up to you make the decision, however I think you're leaning towards vpn if so for 5 computer its okay but if there is future growth for these acquisitions, then a DC make sense.
Deployment of group policies becomes easier
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hecgomrec earned 500 total points
ID: 40326447
The easiest way to connect a PC to a Domain is using a VPN connection.

VPN connections comes handy when the users are always connected to the source but timeouts can create problems.

If these new branches already have internet access I will suggest to get or use for your HQ an additional line for your Branches to use a VPN Tunnel instead of a connection.

With a VPN Tunnel your branches can function as an extension of your LAN but will be called MAN or WAN depending on the distance.

Simply get a device than can hold a VPN tunnel (router), most of new model can do it and create a tunnel per branch.  If the speed is good for all endpoints they will be able to have access to shared files, emails, printers and even phones (if VOIP exist) like if they are in your HQ.
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