It's Monday and time for the next scenario: Branch Offices. The number of Branch Offices worldwide is growing when companies tries to get closer their customers. A branch office typically don’t have dedicated IT staff and bandwidth is often a problem. Windows Server 2008 fits in a branch Office scenario with several features like better remote deployment and administration. There’s a new type of domain controller, called “Read-Only Domain Controller” (RODC), which makes it possible to have a DC in each branch office even though you may not have the physical security that is required to protect it from people accessing it. The RODC has a read-only AD database, the replication only occurs to the RODC and credential caching is limited. You can also install a read-Only DNS on your RODC so name resolution occurs locally but updates will be referred to a writeable DC.
Virtualization is of course another solution that is suitable for a branch office but I will discuss the Virtualization features in Windows Server 2008 in another post so for now, let’s just say it fits into this scenario as well.
To improve remote management and security one option is to install a Server Core version of Windows Server 2008. This option installs a minimal server for one or more of the following server roles:
· Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server
· Domain Name System (DNS) server
· File server
· Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS)
· Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
· Windows Media Services
· Print Management
· Windows Server Virtualization
Only the portions of the OS that are needed to run these roles will be installed and you will not get a graphical user interface, you will get a command prompt. You can manage it with scripts or remotely. Server Core is not an application platform and has no .Net framework.
Another feature in Windows Server 2008 that is suitable for a Branch Office is BitLocker Drive Encryption, the same technology that we have in Windows Vista to encrypt our OS
To learn more about the Branch Office Scenario, check out this TechNet Webcast.