A branch office is an office with computers that are part of a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Windows SBS 2003 R2) domain but that are not located on the same physical network as the computer running Windows SBS 2003 R2. The branch office is connected to the Windows SBS 2003 R2 domain (the main office) over the Internet using a variety of connection types, such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable, or leased line.
The branch-office scenario does not differ greatly from the single-office scenario, where all of the computers in the domain are on the same physical network as the computer that is running Windows SBS 2003 R2. However, there are important points that you should consider if you use Update Services in a branch-office scenario:
- Just as in the single-office scenario, Update Services can manage only computers that are joined to the Windows SBS 2003 R2 domain.
- Depending on the connection type, synchronization between the branch-office computers and the computer that is running Windows SBS 2003 R2 may be noticeably slower than synchronization at the main office.
- If the connection between the branch office and the main office is lost, computers at the branch office do not receive updates until the connection is restored. Alternatively, if the branch office has a working connection to the Internet, but not to the main office, you can manually update computers at the branch office by using Microsoft Update.
To do so, on the remote computer, click Start, point to Programs, and then click Internet Explorer. From the File menu, click Tools, and then click Windows Update. When the Microsoft Update Web site appears, you can download any required updates that you want to install.