Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm basically debating on whether or not to join the Domain on a Laptop, and was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

If the computer were staying in the office, its a no brainer. Join the domain. In this case I have a user who will come into the office a few days a week, and work remotely the rest of the time. There is a working VPN using OpenVPN client/server, but it's not site-to-site.

My knee jerk reaction is to not join the domain, so that the user can have 1 profile that they always use. In this configuration, should Outlook work properly with the user's domain account, and should the shared calendar still work (at least once inside the VPN)?

My concern with joining the domain would be the inability to login to it when elsewhere. Is there maybe a way around this with caching or something? Would creating a second local login make sense for a user like this in any way? If so, why not just skip the domain join to begin with?

Any thoughts on or experiences with this would be appreciated.

Laptop OS Windows 7 (Not purchased yet.. pro if domain needed) Server SBS 2008, Exchange 2007 Outlook version 2010

Thanks for any help,


share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Join it to the domain. You want to be able to manage it easily, don't you? It'll also make the user's life easier when they open outlook and try to access resources on the server.

Passwords are cached automatically. I believe the default is 10 logins cached but I may be wrong about that. You can configure more or less caching through group policy.

share|improve this answer
Yes, Join it to the domain - There is no need for a second profile/local user. He can still login to the domain account when he is outside of your LAN because of caching as Jason mentioned. – iainlbc Feb 17 '11 at 17:43
Great, Thanks! I'll go ahead and do that then, and knock it up to more than 10 logins. – user71195 Feb 17 '11 at 20:01
just to add to this, make sure to have a plan to rejoin this computer to the domain if it becomes disjoined. – pablo Feb 17 '11 at 21:54
How do you manage passwords expiring? How do users change their passwords? – tomjedrz Oct 5 '11 at 15:55

As long as your laptop user attaches to the DC's LAN every once and while, or you launch the VPN session before the user logs in, then your remote machines will behave as if they were in the office all the time.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.