I work in a small office (5 full-time staff and 4 part-time staff). We don't have an IT department of any kind and we have managed to run things pretty will here for a while. All of the computers in our group are part of a "workgroup" that connects to a single Windows 2000 server. The server currently runs some accounting/payroll software, users can access mapped drives, and we have a number of networked fax/printers. It's a reasonably simple setup that has worked for our purposes. The 4 part-time staff change frequently and have password access to only 2 computers.
For reasons that I won't go into, we need to get rid of our old Windows 2000 server and set up a new Windows 2008 R2 server. We're considering setting up the new server as a domain controller to make it easier to make updates to computers and user access.
If we set up the new server as a domain controller, will workgrouped computers be able to access the server or do they have to be joined to the domain (ie: can a domain controller accept request from workgrouped computers that have not joined the domain)? More importantly, will joining them to the domain "break" anything?
I know it is a vague question but, frankly, we're a little out of our league here. We're a small shop and capable people but we're not server administrators and we don't want to take our machines offline for a week to figure this out. Any advice you guys have is certainly appreciated.