I work for a landscaping company that has about 10 office staff members, each with their own workstation. Currently, we have a single server running Windows SBS 2003. The server hosts our Exchange, acts as a file server, and is the Domain Controller with Active Directory.

Mobility is a huge priority for the business owners, and since the current server is becoming outdated, I'd like to move as much as possible to the cloud using Office 365 for exchange and file hosting. At this point, the only thing left that is keeping us from ditching the server altogether is the Domain Controller/Active Directory piece. Is there any reason that we couldn't move to more of a peer-to-peer network model at this point? We don't use any of the features that Active Directory offers other than having a central location to manage user credentials (e.g., no special file permissions, no group policy, etc).

I'd love to get away from the costs involved in managing an entire server just for this functionality.

  • I'd like to point you at the discussion that happened in this article. – Kate Sep 27 '14 at 3:19


You can set up all your users in Office 365 as 'cloud only' and manage user credentials there. The workstations / laptops can remain unmanaged, with the users using a local account. Obviously there will be no synchronisation of credentials, ie. they will need one local credentials to log onto the computer and a separate set of credentials for accessing Office 365 services.

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