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Domain join remote sites or not

Posted on 2016-11-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-17
I have a dilemma whereby many of my remote sites are workgroup machines that connect to Citrix in HQ. The remote sites now have a dedicated connection (varying bandwidth speeds) to the main HQ network. I'm weighing up the pros and cons of domain joining. From a visibility point of view for software and application licenses domain joining doesn't seem to really give me more visibility but I'm open to correction. It seems I still need a third party tool such as Symantec Altiris to control in bulk

Driving users out of Citrix and onto their local machine also introduces more admin overhead. I'm interested to get opinions from admins that have faced this decision. My end goal is to get better visibility on Windows versions, Office versions etc as there are a large amount of machines on the remote sites, thanks.
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Question by:Sid_F
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 41885674
For centralized management, from security to credential management, I always recommend domain joining. I don't think workgroups effectively scales beyond 5 or so machines. While you can get away with it, in a crisis event, you'll suddenly regret not having better management of the desktops.

Azure AD is also a modern alternative if you have a management solution such as Intune that can integrate.
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masnrock earned 1000 total points
ID: 41885849
Join the domain as long as you have a decent amount of bandwidth. Makes it easier to manage the workstations centrally, and also reduces the amount of dependency on Citrix. Plus depending on the applications that need to be accessed at HQ, this should make for an easier experience. If anything, I'd be figuring out whether each remote site has sufficient bandwidth at each site to run all of the application and let that determine the next step on how to handle the site.
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by:Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren earned 500 total points
ID: 41886590
i would join the machines to the domain just so that passwords and group policies can be centrally managed.  Make sure that your gpos arent disabling the cached credentials option otherwise users will be locked out if the site to site vpn goes down.  I would continue to use citrix since its an awesome solution.  You get the best of both worlds with this solution (centralized app management via citrix and domain controller benefits for all remote stations)
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