Cloud Server Newbie

I have a few customers with SBS 2003 Servers that they use for file sharing.  They have 10 or less users each.   They are on the SBS domain.  They are not using Exchange.  One of the customers is insisting on a cloud solution.  

What service or product would you suggest?, DO you have a backup suggestion?  How do they "attach" to it?  Do I have to remove the PCs from the domain and join to the new cloud domain?  

Thanks for helping me get started.
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Scott GorcesterCTOCommented:
There are a number of ways to approach a cloud solution, First off how much data do they need to share amongst their users, secondly do they already have a hosted Exchange solution, Then review the software that they use, do they need applications such as accounting or customer relationship managment that multiple users will need to access. You can approach this by pulling a few options together and presenting them with a solution. You can build systems on Azure or Amazon for instance or you can look at a complete white label solutions for resellers such as ChannelCloud or VirtualQube.

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howmad2Author Commented:
They are already on hosted exchange (Rackspace).  Lets say there are no apps just file sharing.
Lets say 200 GB of word, excel and Pdf's.

How do the workstations connect ....... vpn?  Id the a Firewall VPN in the cloud?

If I have a 2003 Physical server and want to move to a Cloud based 2012R2 server.  Can I join the 2012r2 cloud server part of the 2003 domain, make it a DC, move fsmo and demote the 2003.   Again is this a VPN connection?

Backup solution for cloud server?

Can you explain more for someone who has no experience.

Hi Howmad2,

If the client is insisting on a purely cloud based solution, you will need to have a domain controller setup in the cloud. You have a choice of providers for hosted virtual machines. AWS, Azure and I am pretty sure your current provider Rackspace can do it as well.

You would need to setup a Site-to-Site VPN between your office and the hosted VM. You could then join the cloud server to your current domain, transfer the roles as you have stated, then demote the 2003 DC.

I would suggest you then raise the functional level of the domain to 2012.

I would stress to the client that this solution is entirely reliant on their internet connection, both up-time and speed.

You can host files on a server in the could and have everything transferred over VPN. Again though, if the office internet goes down, they will be without files and authentication. Transfer of files could be slow over the VPN as well, depending on connection speeds.

Hope that helps!

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