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Multiple office design

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  • Multiple office design

    Hi guys,

    Looking for some advice regarding setting up multiple offices.

    We currently have 3 sites. No standards.

    40 users on average per site.

    Site A


    Site B


    Site C


    DHCP carried out by firewalls..............


    There is a VPN link between Site A and Site B.

    Site B has one main server, the others don't.

    Users in Site A and Site C login as the local admins on the machines. (dont ask)


    90% of the users use a hosted Citrix Solution. Basically, once logged into their local machine, they open a web browser, go to a website, which then autheticates them and starts their HTTP citrix session, which includes exchange.

    In Site B the main server, also acts as an Exchange server, on a different domain to the main "domain for emails" for a small department of 10 users.
    The server also is the DC and carries out the AD and Print Server + a file server for the 10 users.

    Please note that 90% of the users work is done on the hosted Citrix thus the local machine is used as an authentication method, I would like to keep this, just in case we move away from the hosted solution to an in house method.

    Ideally, I would like all 3 sites, to be on a domain, all on AD and set up GP's.

    Print servers via server

    What would you suggest reading the above criteria?

    I know it's a bit vague, but please feel free to ask any questions.

    Each site has a 2mb SHDSL internet line.

    Please advice.

    Many thanks.

    I have been looking high and low for examples of multi office designs as such, i.e a white paper, case study, of a scenario and finding a solution to it, which then I could apply to this
    Last edited by gabi_cavaller; 22nd April 2008, 20:08.

  • #2
    Re: Multiple office design

    Man, that's a mess

    One thing I'd do (assuming it won't FUBAR anything) would be to have each site use a unique subnet of a common theme, e.g. 10.1.1.x / 10.1.2.x / 10.1.3.x. It can help later on.

    I assume there's a VPN between the sites?
    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      Re: Multiple office design

      Thanks ever so much for replying.

      (There is currently only a VPN from Site A to Site B.)

      Yes, a complete mess.

      My thoughts are the following.

      Site A being the headquartes.

      Obviously implement structured private subnets.

      Site A
      Site B
      Site C

      Primary Domain Controller on each site, with a backup, backup being the secondary DNS server too including print server. (primary DC just incase VPN goes down..... so local users on that site can still login)

      Even though each site will have a Primary Domain controller, is there a main primary DC so to speak? Or is every site replicated within the scheduled times?

      Create VPN between site A and Site C.

      Implement a tree structure, with each office as a subdomain?

      I am undecided were as OU's or sites would be the best way to go.

      Each office will have the default groups GP and each office will have extra different OU's as they all have different requirements.

      Realistically, this is a basic setup to do, but I am only used to the MS way of doing things and it's not always correct, plus sadly, design has never been something I have undertaken.

      Please advice
      Last edited by gabi_cavaller; 23rd April 2008, 10:01.


      • #4
        Re: Multiple office design

        Well Gabi, it looks like you have quite a job ahead of you....

        You've asked a mouthful and it might be helpful to get a consulting company to come in and design the network if no one in house is capable. On these forums we can give good advice but it's really hard to address all the needs of a network design without getting a lot more information and spending a lot more time on it.... having said that, here's what I have to say about a new setup: is a public range. Does you company have control of these addresses?
        (BTW /24 and mean the same thing)

        Since each site has a 2mb SHDSL then you should setup a mesh topology to connect the sites (i.e. each site has a connection to each site)

        I don't know what OS you're using but I'm guessing it's at least 2k because you mentioned Group Policy. If this is the case then there's no "Primary" DC. AD is a multi-master environment. (there are, however, some single master roles)

        One domain should be enough unless there's requirement you haven't listed.
        If budget is not an option then put two DCs in each location making one of them a Global Catalog server.

        You will need to use both OUs and Sites. OUs are the logical layout of the domain and sites are the physical layout of the domain.

        If you properly configure the sites then you shouldn't need to worry about replication as everything is setup automatically by the KCC.

        For Exchange I would start another thread in the Exchange forum and get the experts advice on how to set that up most efficiently.

        As far as file and print servers and whatever else you need on the networks, maybe the DCs could handle the load but that really depends on the server hardware and what demands the users put on it.

        PS - Moved to the Active Directory forum

        Network Consultant/Engineer
        Baltimore - Washington area and beyond


        • #5
          Re: Multiple office design

          Hi there,

          Thank you ever so much for replying and moving it to the correct location, I was un sure in which location to put it.

          In regards to a consultancy company, we are in the UK and ideally, I would like to keep costs down, it is realistically a simplish network to implement if you have experience in network design and implementation, not maintenance.

          Yap it was setup by the guy who was here before myself, not quire sure why a public range was used, however, this is not what I want to have within the company. As for /24 and, I always seem to place both down, I know they are the same


          Servers will be running on 2003 standard.
          Workstations XP Pro.

          H/W for Servers, not the best, but Dell 1750’s with 2gig ram min, Dual Xeons. This should be ok for the companies requirements.

          As for Primary DC, I apologise, I meant a GC DC server,

          One domain should be ok, no other requirements listed here.

          Two DC servers per site, and one being a GC DC, this is possible to implement, we have the sources available. I need to create some diagrams and maybe post the on there, to see what you guys think

          Thanks for the information regarding OU’s and Sites, the reason I stated that maybe ou’s should be used was due to my previous employments, in the last 3 companies I have worked, they all had multiple sites, running 2003, and each location was done as a different OU

          “Properly configure the sites” this is exactly what I mean, is there a guide to the proper implementation instead of MS protocol?

          Exchange – later on

          I do have a very large job, but very interesting and great to learn some more

          I have been going to the main site for an extremely long time, however, it was about time I joined the forum.

          Once again, thank you so much for your time and advice.
          Kind regards,



          • #6
            Re: Multiple office design

            Originally posted by gabi_cavaller View Post
            “Properly configure the sites” this is exactly what I mean, is there a guide to the proper implementation instead of MS protocol?
            Actually, the "MS way" is fine. There's really not a lot of options unless you are configuring a custom replication scheme and only very special network circumstances would require a manual configuration of replication.

            Network Consultant/Engineer
            Baltimore - Washington area and beyond