Synchronize My Documents to different servers in different sites

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Larry Epn, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Larry Epn

    Larry Epn Guest

    We have an SBS 2003 server in one subnet and another Win 2003 server in
    another subnet; both subnets denote two different sites over a 256Kbps WAN
    link. The Win2003 server is also a DC with AD & DNS replication occurring
    between the two.
    I would like to have the "my documents" and roaming profiles located on the
    appropriate server depending on which site each user typically logs into.
    Is this possible? If so, I'm assuming this is a group policy thing, which
    I'm not strong in. If you are able, please be as specific as possible in
    your instructions. I used all the SBS wizards and am not entirely sure of
    what occurred behind-the-scenes.
    Larry Epn, Apr 20, 2007
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  2. There are two things I can tell you about group policy that will save you a
    lot of grief later. First, create different Group Policy Objects (GPO's)
    for different purposes, rather than setting many different types of policies
    in one GPO. That way, if you get an unintended result, you can disable the
    policy quickly to get back to a good state, without losing the benefit of
    the policies that are not the cause of the problem. And, document your
    actions or changes in writing. There's nothing worse than wanting to change
    a setting, and having to waste time trying to locate where you made it. Or,
    getting a bad result and not knowing how to quickly undo the cause.

    There are two ways of approaching your question. I don't think one is a lot
    more or less work than the other. I recommend using separate Organizational
    Units (OU's), because that way, you'll be able to easily apply different
    policies to each location in future situations as they arise. The two
    choices are:

    - Use the Advanced redirection feature to choose the location of the
    redirected folders based on security group membership. So you'd create a
    security group for each location, and redirect the user to the appropriate
    server by putting him/her in the matching security group.

    - Create separate OU's for each location, with separate GPO's pointing the
    users in each OU to the appropriate storage location.

    If you want to do it the first way, post back and I'll tell you how. For
    the second way, I'll give you the general idea and you can modify as you
    prefer, or post back with questions.

    Open Active Directory Users and Computers from the Administrative Tools
    menu. Navigate to MyBusiness/Users/SBSUsers. You can see by the icon that
    SBSUSers is an OU, which means you can apply policies to it and they'll only
    effect the contents of the OU. R-click the OU -> New -> Organizational
    Unit. Create a new OU called Location A or whatever you wish. Do it again
    and create one for Location B. So now you have SBSUsers, which should
    contain all your existing user accounts, and you have Location A and
    Location B, which are empty.

    Leave AD Users and Computers and open the Group Policy Management Console
    (GPMC). Find Location A, again under MyBusiness-> SBSUsers. R-click
    Location A and click "Create and link a GPO here." Name the new GPO
    something like "Location A My Documents Redirection Policy" - the idea is
    that in a year when you've forgotten all of this, you'll want the name to
    tell you what the GPO does, as explicitly as possible. Now, r-click the
    newly created GPO and click Edit. The GPO will open in an editor window.

    Browse through User Configuration -> Windows Settings and expand Folder
    Redirection. R-click the item you want to redirect - My Documents for
    example -> Properties. Choose Basic to redirect everyone's folders to the
    same location, and enter the path to that location (you'll want to create
    the path to the top-level folder first). Click the appropriate settings on
    the Settings tab. Once you've configured everything, OK out of the editor.

    Now do the same thing from the last two paragraphs for Location B, setting
    the different location in the B GPO.

    Now go back to AD Users and Computers. Find your user account under
    SBSUsers, r-click it, and move it to the appropriate OU for the location you
    work in. Note that at this point, you're only moving one user, which I
    recommend be either you or a test user created for this purpose. Log into
    your PC (if you're already logged in, log out then back in), and verify that
    your documents redirect as you anticipate they should. I recommend doing a
    test with one user at the other location, again to make sure you get the
    expected result. After you see that all is working as expected, you can
    move the rest of the users into the appropriate OUs.

    If you're using it, obviously you'll want to turn off the redirection that's
    configured from the SBS console first, so that you don't have two policies
    trying to do the same thing in different ways.

    One last thing. Because SBSUsers, Location A, and Location B are all
    Organizational Units, they can all have group policies applied to them. Any
    GPO applied to SBSUsers will apply to all the users in that OU or the ones
    under it, whereas a GPO applied to the Location A OU will only effect users
    in that OU. So you can just link a policy to SBSUsers to apply it to
    everybody, or to one of the Location OUs to apply it to that location's
    users only.

    This turned out a little longer than expected : -)
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Apr 20, 2007
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  3. Larry Epn

    Larry Epn Guest

    WOW - THANKS for such dedication to helping!
    I have many responsibilities and wasn't able to follow-up on this until now.
    I'll try this and let you know how it goes.
    Larry Epn, Apr 26, 2007
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