Please advice us on the best possible solution for this scenario.
Currently we have only one office in B__. We are running SBS 2003 on our network. We use windows authentication extensively and also exchange for email. Right now we are not using Sharepoint server at all. All clients are Windows XP/Office 2003 Standard.
This month we are setting up a new office in D__i and within 2-3 months we will have another office in M__i followed by offices in all the metros. I wanted to set up a local windows server in each office to cater to the authentication needs of the systems in that office. Also, in the B__ e office I would like to setup a backup domain controller (to replicate active directory).
All employees (across offices) will need domain.com email address. I have configured Outlook over http and want to use that for the time being. Hence, I require only Windows 2003 Server (with replicated active directory) at the branch offices. At a later point, I want to setup local exchange server as needed.
All offices are connected with ADSL lines to the internet and there is no inter-office link. This setup will not change (meaning we won't have inter-office linkage)
I did some research on this and found that SBS cannot support this scenario. Is that true? If yes, what is the best way to go about it?
Hi back at ya.... first off I'd like to bring up the idea of "branch offices" versus "branch computers"
Remember that with a SBS network we cannot do domain trusts..but we can have additional domain controllers to assure domain authentication. With the R2 era we can also add additional Exchange servers without adding cals.
Now then ... there is no wizards in this setup and any additional Exchange server would be manually set up. But that doesn't mean that SBS cannot be the base server of a small firm's domain. As long as you stay with the single domain setup ...and given that I know someone running umpteen computers in a workgroup... I personally think this is a do-able setup. Persistent VPNs and what not...but we're doing these sort of setups now with the SBS server as the base.
The problem is that SBS is just way too good of a base to not use in a small firm. Okay okay, the cheapness is a strong thing in it's favor...but given that SBS is the only one with RWW and the wizards it has.. it's too dang good to give up.
Microsoft tends to say that SBS is not for a branch office setup...but the other day Chad had a SBS network with 13 offsite "branch" connections to that SBS server ...all locations with one or two workstations. All with persistent VPNs. Is that a branch office? Probably not in Microsoft speak...but in a SBS domain?
..if it works... it works.