Basically, I have a domain in my office that all of the servers and workstations are a member of. This allows any user to log into any of these computers using their single domain username and password. I have a server at a remote location (in a data center) that is not part of any domain.

I would like to set it up so that the server at the remote location could somehow authenticate remote access with the server at the office.

I know that I didn't get the jargon down for this question, but I think that you get the idea. Any suggestions? I'm thinking that I could either somehow join the remote server to the domain or maybe set somewhere in the server to use the remote domain to authenticate?

Thanks in advanced,



I assume that the remote machine is on a VPN or can somehow access the resources of the office network?

Joining the machine to the domain is by far the easiest solution, but it can present problems of its own, especially if the machine is going to be away from the domain for extended periods of time. It can also cause slow authentication if you don't have a domain controller on the same local network segment as the machine, as it has to authenticate against a domain controller on the remote network.

If you don't want to go this path, you can manually enter credentials for each network resource you want to access. If you're running Windows 7 or 2008 R2 this is called Credential Manager and can be located by entering that into the start menu.

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If you have that open, under Windows Credentials, you can create new saved credentials for basically anything you like. Note that example and example.domain.local can result in different authentication matches, so make sure you're consistant in how you access the resources.

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  • How would I join the server to the domain if it is in a different network? usually I just put in [domain name].local into the System Properties and press OK and it works perfectly - but how can I do this for a machine that is permanently located elsewhere? – William May 3 '12 at 2:05
  • @William - you need to have a VPN between the two networks for that to work. How does that remote machine currently access your network? – Mark Henderson May 3 '12 at 2:56
  • 1. Create a connection between the two networks (VPN). 2. Make sure the firewalls on both ends allow the protocols required for AD communication between the client and DC to pass through the firewalls to the appropriate hosts (DNS, LDAP, etc.). 3. Configure the client to use the AD/DNS server for DNS. 4. Join the domain. 5. Enjoy! – joeqwerty May 3 '12 at 2:58
  • The remote server is sitting in someone else's rack (our broker's) and they don't allow VPN connections - we have been accessing it via RDP – William May 3 '12 at 10:46
  • @William - well, that changes things. You're out of luck. Without a VPN you really can't do anything at all. – Mark Henderson May 3 '12 at 10:47

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