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How Would You Make a Distributed Office System? 218

Necrotica writes "I work for a financial company which went through a server consolidation project approximately six years ago, thanks to a wonderful suggestion by our outsourcing partner. Although originally hailed as an excellent cost cutting measure, management has finally realized that martyring the network performance of 1000+ employees in 100 remote field offices wasn't such a great idea afterall. We're now looking at various solutions to help optimize WAN performance. Dedicated servers for each field office is out of the question, due to the price gouging of our outsourcing partner. Wide area file services (WAFS) look like a good solution, but they don't address other problems, such as authenticating over a WAN, print queues, etc. 'Branch office in a box' appliances look ideal, but they don't implement WAFS. So what have your companies done to move the data and network services closer to the users, while keeping costs down to a minimum?"

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