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Branch office - Centralized file server? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am currently exploring my options to minimize the hardware required at our branch offices without sacrificing user experience and I was hoping someone could provide a few suggestions for the deployment of AD, DNS, DHCP and File services. Here's our scenario:

    1 - Main office (50+ users) - Link 9Mb/s,
    1 - Medium office (~15 users) - Link 4.5 Mb/s. Latency: ~60ms from Main
    3 - Small office (~5 users) - Link 4.5 Mb/s. Latency: ~20-40ms from Main

    I think I would like to have a server at my medium site to serve those users and act as a backup if the main site goes down.

    AD -
    Read-Only DC at medium site? How about small sites?

    DNS & DHCP?
    Some type of relay? Isn't there issues with DCHP and DNS broadcasts over WAN / Routers?

    File Services -
    I am starting to read into the DFS technologies and I was wondering if this scenario would be possible:
    - Main site provides access to itself and 3 small offices. Backup for Medium site
    - Medium site provides access to itself and acts as backup for small offices if main site goes down
    - What type of replication would be used here?
    - Suggestions on redirecting user's My Documents to file server?
    - How about using WebDAV for small offices to help with latency / bandwidth ? Can WebDav and DFS coexist on the same server and for same shares?

    Any suggestions will be appreciated. I am reading the BOIS from TechCenter but wanted to get some ideas from the community.

    Thanks in advance!

     

    Ideally, I would like to centralize our environment at our main office and make our medium office sort of our failover site. So, tw

     

    Monday, July 26, 2010 4:53 PM

Answers

  • Hi there -

    It sounds like using BranchCache would be ideal in terms of optimizing WAN bandwidth. With BranchCache, your file server(s) would be at the main office. If you deploy BranchCache distributed cache mode at the small office, each client that accesses content from the main office then caches the content, and if the other clients want to access the same content, they obtain it from the first client rather than from the main office content servers over the WAN link.

    For the medium office you can also use distributed cache mode, but with that many clients hosted cache mode is also beneficial. With hosted cache mode, you have a hosted cache server. Branch office clients download content from the main office content server, and then upload the content to the hosted cache server in the branch. Then when other clients in the branch need that content, they obtain it from the hosted cache server rather than over the WAN link.

    For DHCP broadcast messages to reach other subnets, you need to configure your router or switch with DHCP message forwarding. Installing a DHCP server at the branch offices is a good idea in most cases, although for your small office you could just configure the 5 machines with static IP addresses, depending on how you prefer to do things.

    If you deployed a hosted cache server at the medium office, you could run DHCP on the same server, as BranchCache isn't load intensive.

    BranchCache documentation is here ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd996634(WS.10).aspx ) in the event that you're interested in reading more.

    James McIllece

    • Marked as answer by Miles Zhang Monday, August 2, 2010 2:11 AM
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:42 PM

All replies

  • Hi there -

    It sounds like using BranchCache would be ideal in terms of optimizing WAN bandwidth. With BranchCache, your file server(s) would be at the main office. If you deploy BranchCache distributed cache mode at the small office, each client that accesses content from the main office then caches the content, and if the other clients want to access the same content, they obtain it from the first client rather than from the main office content servers over the WAN link.

    For the medium office you can also use distributed cache mode, but with that many clients hosted cache mode is also beneficial. With hosted cache mode, you have a hosted cache server. Branch office clients download content from the main office content server, and then upload the content to the hosted cache server in the branch. Then when other clients in the branch need that content, they obtain it from the hosted cache server rather than over the WAN link.

    For DHCP broadcast messages to reach other subnets, you need to configure your router or switch with DHCP message forwarding. Installing a DHCP server at the branch offices is a good idea in most cases, although for your small office you could just configure the 5 machines with static IP addresses, depending on how you prefer to do things.

    If you deployed a hosted cache server at the medium office, you could run DHCP on the same server, as BranchCache isn't load intensive.

    BranchCache documentation is here ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd996634(WS.10).aspx ) in the event that you're interested in reading more.

    James McIllece

    • Marked as answer by Miles Zhang Monday, August 2, 2010 2:11 AM
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:42 PM
  • Hi,

     Have you found the solution?

    As

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015 7:19 AM