Off-line files with DirectAccess

I am looking for a secure file syncing solution for a Law Firm. We currently use Synology Cloud Station. It works but has MANY quirks and has caused quite a PITA. Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business is horrible, unfortunately, so that is no option.

I am thinking about testing a configuration that will allow the users to bring Shared Folders off-site using Off-line folder syncing. Users will be in areas where no internet connection is available and cellular is not reliable enough. Here is how I envision this working.

1. Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess Server
2. Windows Server 2012 R2 File Sharing Server
3. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Client using DirectAccess connectivity
4. Users will make Shared Folders they need available off-line as needed

I am very interested to know if anyone uses DirectAccess and how that works for them. Also has anyone tried to use Off-line folders for a workgroup of staff that share the same Shared Folders? How has that worked for you?

I am open to any solution that can be secured, can handle large 2GB+ files, and is mostly reliable. Anything with the work "sync" in it will need to be trouble shot now and again, as long as there are clear ways to resolve the issues.

Thank you,
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
It can work, but DirectAccess us not trivial to troubleshoot or manage in its own right. Since your file server is 2012 R2 and your clients are 8.1, the "work folders" feature may be a lighter weight alternative worth looking at.
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your creative suggestion. I agree it was certainly worth looking at. I didn't know that feature existed. Unfortunately, unless the functionality has changed since the 2013 TechNet article I was reading Work Folders has some limitations that knock it out as an option for me.

1. Users sync to their own folder on the file server - there is no support for syncing arbitrary file shares (e.g.: sync the sales demos share to my device)
2. Work Folders doesn’t provide collaboration functionality such as sharing sync files or folders with other users (we recommend using SkyDrive Pro if you need document collaboration features)

Work Folder does seem exactly what I need if it did the above two items. I will keep reading on Work Folders in hopes these two items have been added into a later release.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
It hasn't. But I've found a combination of work folders and OneDrive for business for collaboration works well and have widespread deployments in the field. OneDrive for Business does still have a few rough edges, but is still superior to offline files in many ways and that is *without* directaccess in the mix. Keep in mind that directaccess requires the client OS to be enterprise, so that is purely VL and home/BYOD access is usually not an option, plus requires IPv6 infrastructure and a few other drawbacks  

Additionally a new "unified" OneDrive sync client is announced as in the works that brings OneDrive for Business and OneDrive consumer together for syncing and will address many of the drawbacks of the current OneDrive for Business implementation. So today it is good. Tomorrow (figuratively) will be even better. I'd consider this a much better approach than DA/Offline files. Especially for a long term investment.

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CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
Is there a deployment scenario for OneDrive for Business that doesn't use Office 365? Can it be used with on premise servers?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
CanOfWormsAuthor Commented:
There may not be a good answer to my question. Thank you for the advise that was given.
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Windows Server 2012

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