Configurations of Laptops w/Server 2012 R2 Std Work from Home & Office

I'm trying to figure out the best course of action in order to setup office laptops on Server 2012 R2 Standard while keeping desktop configs the same in the office as well as home.

With previous server versions when I've done this I would locally joined the laptops to the domain and configured it as a local workstation then, working from home just meant connecting via VPN and basically work the same from home as in the office.  I haven't done this yet on Server 2012 so I thought I'd ask in case there were more efficient ways of going about this.  BTW, I didnt think RDP would be applicable here because RDP'ing into the server when locally in the office seems necessary.

Thanks everyone
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
It's a rather broad question and it really depends on specific factors. Generally if you are happy with a VPN solution and your applications don't have issues then you can continue working that way.
If you would like the advice for best practice, you should try to explain the most of your environment. How many applications do you host on your server, do they have a local or central database, number of users? What will be the major user activity on the network, the way you share the files, printing, do you have any restrictive policy, what is your GW router /firewall....
XChangingITAuthor Commented:
Sorry, yes it's a locally hosted DC, single server with only 5 users at a law firm.  Applications are of the norm nothing that should require much bandwidth at all.  We're running Sonicwall TZ-300 on cable, no restrictive policies, just approx 5 mapped drives w/3 or 4 networked printers.  They're doing away with the desktop PCs, replacing them with laptops for an easy transition to work from wherever.  I know the laptops aren't necessary for WFH but they specifically wanted them.

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For five users I would set up the Essential server with Office 365 integration and keep the files synced with one drive. Force people to use complex long passwords and change passwords every 90 days. Make it smart and straightforward.
XChangingITAuthor Commented:
Right but we already have Server R2 Standard.
Where do you host the e-mails?
XChangingITAuthor Commented:
They're now hosting email thru microsoft hosted exchange.
I believe you are saying Office 365. If you have different security groups and you are not sharing the files among those 5 users than you should stick to the VPN scenario. Otherwise, if all users have access to all shared files, you can use One Drive for syncing the files and users can access them over the internet on everywhere on all devices. All business office 365 plans are including the One Drive.

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Rob KnightConsultantCommented:

Since you are using hosted Office 365 for emails etc., you may want to consider split-tunnelling your VPN so that traffic to your network uses the SonicWALL VPN client but you configured exceptions so that Office 365 traffic bypasses the VPN?

XChangingITAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips guys!  Have a great holiday
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