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Networking Suggestions Needed

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2006
Rufus Reynolds, III
 

Posts: n/a
Networking Suggestions Needed
I am currently networking 5 computers running Windows XP Pro and a
networked printer. One of the computers is configured as a "server"
with multiple shared folders. Each of the logins on each of the
computers is set to use roaming profiles that are mapped to a
directory on the "server". While this works for the most part, I am
looking for a solution that will allow any of the users to log on to
any of the computers so that all of their settings follow them, and
still have access to their "My Documents" folders.

I can set up folder redirection for the "My Documents" directories,
but I cannot seem to find a way to redirect all of the necessary
"Documents and Settings\{user}\" directories.

I have read that Windows Vista has a better method of implementing
roaming users and folder redirection. I was wondering if I should
just wait a few weeks and purchase 5 upgrade licenses for Vista, or if
I should simply redo the network so that I have an actual server OS
like Small Business Server 2003. It may actually be cheaper to
purchase SBS 2003 with 4 client licenses, but I'm not sure I need or
can actually configure Active Directory.

On a side note, I am also putting together a "Media Server" that has
four tv tuners and 2TB of hard drive space. It will be used to record
television shows like a TiVo, and store all of the media, i.e.
pictures, music, videos, and tv. Taking the above information into
consideration, which OS should I run on this machine? Should I use
this box as the main server altoghether?

Any insight or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2006
Malke
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Networking Suggestions Needed
Rufus Reynolds, III wrote:

> I am currently networking 5 computers running Windows XP Pro and a
> networked printer. One of the computers is configured as a "server"
> with multiple shared folders. Each of the logins on each of the
> computers is set to use roaming profiles that are mapped to a
> directory on the "server". While this works for the most part, I am
> looking for a solution that will allow any of the users to log on to
> any of the computers so that all of their settings follow them, and
> still have access to their "My Documents" folders.
>
> I can set up folder redirection for the "My Documents" directories,
> but I cannot seem to find a way to redirect all of the necessary
> "Documents and Settings\{user}\" directories.
>
> I have read that Windows Vista has a better method of implementing
> roaming users and folder redirection. I was wondering if I should
> just wait a few weeks and purchase 5 upgrade licenses for Vista, or if
> I should simply redo the network so that I have an actual server OS
> like Small Business Server 2003. It may actually be cheaper to
> purchase SBS 2003 with 4 client licenses, but I'm not sure I need or
> can actually configure Active Directory.
>
> On a side note, I am also putting together a "Media Server" that has
> four tv tuners and 2TB of hard drive space. It will be used to record
> television shows like a TiVo, and store all of the media, i.e.
> pictures, music, videos, and tv. Taking the above information into
> consideration, which OS should I run on this machine? Should I use
> this box as the main server altoghether?


Let's take one problem at a time.

1. For the roaming profiles issue, install a server operating system.
Setting up AD is very easy for such a small number of workstations. I
can't answer the question as to how this works in Vista, but since
there is a Vista server I doubt that you won't need server in that
instance even if the workstations all are running Vista.

2. For the media server, you might want to look into purchasing an
actual Network-Attached-Storage box (NAS) such as this Media Vault from
HP:

http://tinyurl.com/yfrgl8

If you went with an MS OS, you'd need a server OS on that box too and
that would cost more than just buying a ready-to-go NAS. I would not
suggest running the media server on your Small Business Server.

Caveat - I haven't used the Media Vault; I ran across it the other day
when searching for a traditional NAS for a client.

Malke
--
Elephant Boy Computers
www.elephantboycomputers.com
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2006
Bruce Sanderson
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Networking Suggestions Needed
The only real way to implement true "roaming profiles" is to use a Domain
and have the users log on with a Domain user account.

In a workgroup, each of the computers is independant, so every user account
is in fact a different user account, even if the names are the same. So, if
you want any user to be able to logon to any computer and still have the
same "profile", you have to create a "user account" for every user on every
computer. If the user changes their password, they have to seperately
change it on every computer.

A Domain eliminates this problem because the user accounts, including their
"profile location" is specified once, in Active Directory, and will be used
no matter which domain member computer they logon to.

I'm not really familiar with SBS, but my understanding is that it is
packaged with tools and defaults to make setting up and administering a
Domain a simple matter for small environments.

Windows Server 2003 - the non-SBS edition - also has tools (e.g. "Manage
Your Server") that make creating a small Domain relatively simple, at least
once one has a grasp on some of the concepts!

--
Bruce Sanderson MVP Printing
http://members.shaw.ca/bsanders

It is perfectly useless to know the right answer to the wrong question.



"Rufus Reynolds, III" <my.junk.spam@cox.net> wrote in message
news:0ngon299l9tp3j5c7c1lokf0va5fgjvu0r@4ax.com...
>I am currently networking 5 computers running Windows XP Pro and a
> networked printer. One of the computers is configured as a "server"
> with multiple shared folders. Each of the logins on each of the
> computers is set to use roaming profiles that are mapped to a
> directory on the "server". While this works for the most part, I am
> looking for a solution that will allow any of the users to log on to
> any of the computers so that all of their settings follow them, and
> still have access to their "My Documents" folders.
>
> I can set up folder redirection for the "My Documents" directories,
> but I cannot seem to find a way to redirect all of the necessary
> "Documents and Settings\{user}\" directories.
>
> I have read that Windows Vista has a better method of implementing
> roaming users and folder redirection. I was wondering if I should
> just wait a few weeks and purchase 5 upgrade licenses for Vista, or if
> I should simply redo the network so that I have an actual server OS
> like Small Business Server 2003. It may actually be cheaper to
> purchase SBS 2003 with 4 client licenses, but I'm not sure I need or
> can actually configure Active Directory.
>
> On a side note, I am also putting together a "Media Server" that has
> four tv tuners and 2TB of hard drive space. It will be used to record
> television shows like a TiVo, and store all of the media, i.e.
> pictures, music, videos, and tv. Taking the above information into
> consideration, which OS should I run on this machine? Should I use
> this box as the main server altoghether?
>
> Any insight or assistance would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you.


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