Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

While choosing a branch office solution, you have to address various issues, such as security, data replication, minimal IT capabilities, hardware costs, unauthorized physical access, and unwanted changes to Active Directory.

The following bulleted list discusses the points above and highlights the solutions to address the concerns. (Source:MSL 89-389)

  • Security

    • In case the security at the branch office is your major concern, you should use the  Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 operating system and install , RODCs, Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0, and BitLocker Drive Encryption. Server core offers a reduced attack surface because of the limited number of services which are running on the box.

  • Replication between sites

    • If you need to tightly control replication between sites due to WAN links, you should install RODCs.

  • Minimal IT administration capabilities

    •  If you have minimal IT administration capabilities, you should have a Server Core installation and install RODCs to minimize administration requirements.

  • Hardware costs

    • If you have to minimize hardware costs at each branch office, you should consider server virtualization.

  • Unauthorized physical access to servers

    • If you have limited capabilities to control the physical access to servers at a branch office, you should use BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect the system against data theft.

  •  Unwanted changes to Active Directory

    • If you want to prevent unwanted changes from being made to Active Directory, you should use RODCs to prevent any updates to Active Directory.

The preceding points were some consdierations from the field when choose Branch office solutions.

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology
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