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Hosted Active Directory?


badp
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My CEO wants all our infrastructure to reside outside the offices.  Moreover, he wants someone else (like Intermedia) to host our servers for us.  Only problem is, I don't know of anyone who will remotely host Active Directory.  Does anyone even do this?  It sounds like a solution looking for a problem.  I don't really see the value in doing it this way, but I figured I'd at least give it a look.

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You would need a decent MPLS connection to the datacenter its hosted in, so that needs to be factored into the financial side of things, but other than that it might be worth the cost of your organization is spread out over multiple sites. I would say that the main advantage is disaster proofing, and all the benefits of having an actual datacenter instead of a server room. It might be worth having at least one DC kept on site in case your connection goes down. Its just a case of deciding if you want the servers outsourced or not.

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I'm very partial to a VPLS style service.  In the event that is not cost effective, wouldn't it work to set up a site-to-site VPN as long as I have an appropriately configured DNS server in the same segment as my AD clients?

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Hmmm... most people in the same position would probally have a SBS box and a DSL line lol. Personally I don't think your outfit is quite big enough to have its entire infrastructure hosted (the place I work at has 60 sites around the UK and in our case the HQ's DC's are still in-house, but the main DC's are hosted in a Global Crossing data center with MPLS lines to the offices all hooked into one VPLS). But, maybe a secondary DC  in a remote location or a remote backup service with a VPN link to your office for integrity? I'm all for overdesign as a standard, but there are pragmatic issues when it comes to cost to consider.

It would be best to investigate the costs involved before anything else, the price of reliable hosting and the secure comms might not be cost efficient in the long run. What ever you go with, it has to be at least as good as what you have now especially when your sacrificing physical access to your kit. Was there a reason behind his motives or is it enterprise envy?

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This doesn't sound very cost effective and I don't understand why you would want to put AD outside of your local network. Our MPLS costs around £1000 p/month I belive - we have 4 linking US, China, UK and another site in Europe.

What are you using AD for? You could look at hosted Exchange if it's just email. As Vako has suggested a company with only 10 employees screams SBS! with the money you'd be laying out for MPLS / Hosted Services you would be far better decking out a server room and redundant hardware.

I'd be intrested in knowing the thinking behind putting AD outside your local network. It sounds like your CEO wants to host everything and remove the need for IT support  :-x

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