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I'm fed up with how things are going right now with our network. Computers are slow, manageability is like hell, user accounts are "customized" because of permissions issues with many Gov't required programs (SSS, BIR, Payroll, etc). I'm just about to throw away all the policies and just use our Win2k3 server as an authentication server, print server, file server, dns, dhcp, and web server.

No more GPO, no more Forefront client security (w/ WSUS and all that resource hogging applications it needs). Sticking to MS Security Essentials, local windows updates, and just pure log-in/out.

I know I'm doing something wrong. But I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I've been researching round the clock for months now on how best to handle a domain. I've finished the CBT nuggets MCSE (2k3) pack. Still have no idea how to best handle a domain w/ 30 users.

Oh and on top of that...Roaming profiles!!!!! things are so slow. they're great for when one of the computers hard drive blows up, just log back in, wait a while and then everything's there. But man is it slow and takes up a lot of storage!

I don't know if I'm ranting or looking for suggestions or what. Please mods, delete this if you deem it not fit for serverfault. But if you have suggestions to fix my domain, I'd appreciate it.

EDIT: I'm trying to solve primarily slow log-in/out, having to log users out to install software (that they need) and then log back in (again slow). Roaming profiles takes the cake as the 1st one to go. But without roaming profiles, how best should I be "preempting" a disk failure? I really love how roaming profiles gets users back up and running in half the time it takes to do a restore...

But of course, the issue here is big user profiles (every shit they download gets copied to the server).

and yes, there's only 1 server handling everything. dual-core with 8GB of RAM 160GB RAID1, and a 500GB backup drive (ntbackup scheduled).

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It does come off as a bit of a rant, but I understand the frustration. It happens to all of us. How about giving us one or two specific problems you're trying to resolve and see if we can help. –  joeqwerty Mar 29 '11 at 2:11
    
Yeah, this should probably more specific. That said, a domain can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it - by all means, get rid of stuff like roaming profiles if they've over-complicating and slowing things down - sounds like everything's on one server, which would definitely suffer with all that running on it. With only one device, you may not be equipped to do all of those things. But, think twice about removing control over systems, like managing updates locally - you will likely make yourself more trouble than you save. –  Shane Madden Mar 29 '11 at 2:13
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"I don't know if I'm ranting or looking for suggestions". I can at least help you with that part. You're definitely ranting. If you want help you need to calm down and think about what you want to ask. –  John Gardeniers Mar 29 '11 at 2:55
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RE: Roaming profiles - This should probably be avoided unless you are also using folder redirection to relocation the My Documents, Desktop, and other folders to the server or some location outside of the profile. If your roaming profile is larger then ~50MB, then you pare probably doing something wrong. –  Zoredache Mar 29 '11 at 2:56
    
If you want to rant, or are having trouble formulating answerable questions, try the chat rooms –  mfinni Mar 29 '11 at 12:52
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closed as not a real question by Scott Pack, John Gardeniers, Zoredache, jscott, MDMarra Mar 29 '11 at 4:18

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

Here's a suggestion for your roaming profiles:

If you're not redirecting the My Documents folder via GPO, consider doing it. It will significantly reduce the size of the roaming profiles.

You can redirect other folders as well, but My Documents is by far the largest consumer of disk space and the most likely to significantly increase the log on/log off time unless it's redirected.

Redirecting the My Documents folder for each user to a server share will speed up the loading and unloading of your roaming profiles.

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I'm not doing folder redirection because we have laptop users. This would result in laptop users not having files to work with. And as per usual, my users don't know the difference between a cached file and a local file. Even if I teach them how to make select files an "offline" file...They still wouldn't know. heck, I get called out to check a network "problem" and the wireless selector (the thing that goes click to activate wifi) is just turned off! –  Jared Mar 29 '11 at 3:57
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Since you didn't have an actual question, I'm going to give a general suggestion.

It may be worth spending a little $ on an external consultant. Get recommendations for a good one in your area. Come up with a targeted list of things that both cause you pain, and costs the business either money or downtime (which equals money). The consultant will help you redesign for these items. Budget time for "knowledge transfer" which means you learn from the guy. Getting your MCSE via self-study is great. Learning the dirt and details from the voice of experience is even better.

Side note - not sure what you mean by "WSUS and all that resource hogging applications it needs". WSUS, from the client side, is nothing at all. It's telling the built-in WAU and BITS services to use your local WSUS server instead of MS' update site. And maintaining the WSUS server is no biggie and shouldn't be much overhead on a server machine, either. So, yeah - without knowing any more details, I do fear that you're doing something wrong there.

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I'm speaking server side. The only reason I have WSUS is because of FCS. FCS in itself is already resource intensive... Oh and in case you haven't noticed, my boss is cheap. Idea in this company is...If it's not broken, keep it running. If it's broken, fix it. If it can't be fix, then go buy (if we really really really really need it). –  Jared Mar 29 '11 at 3:55
    
There's a lot to be said for getting an external consultant in to look at things like this - they shouldn't have any preconceptions about the network or any emotional investment in one particular answer or another, so can be quite useful for just getting a dispassionate picture of where the real problems are and what you might do about them. –  RobM Mar 29 '11 at 10:42
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