Global Catalog Server on Windows Server 2003

Active Directory
Global Catalog Server
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
I am currently trying to learn about Active Directory and Server 2003, and was talking to a IT friend of mine about Global Catalog Servers. It seems to me there are no disadvantages in having GC-servers. However, he persisted in telling me I should always try to limit the number of GC-servers. Why? I don't see the disadvantage. Only reason he told me was "network traffic", but isn't that what the GC-Server is for? Lowering the traffic? Would appreciate some explanation on this matter.

Software/Hardware used:
Windows Server 2003

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

Your friend is correct for large multi-domain forests. In addition to containing all objects in the local domain, global catalogs also contain a partial replica of objects in all other domains in the forest. The additional replication traffic is the main issue when talking about too many global catalog servers.

However, in a single domain forest, there is no side effect to promoting all domain controllers to global catalog servers.

Discuss This Question: 4  Replies

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.
  • Filthgrinder
    Okay, but isn't that replication still small compared to what the traffic would be without having a Global Catalog Server? And isn't the replication just a "quick short" update?
    55 pointsBadges:
  • mshen
    Your first question depends on how many domain controllers you have in your environment. Global catalogs are required for authenticating users in multi-domain environments, multi-domain searches, exchange address book lookups, and universal group membership caching. So you should have at least one at each site to reduce delay by querying a GC over the WAN. It is a quick update if you have a secondary domain with just a few objects in it. But imagine three large domains with an equal amount of objects. Replication between global catalogs is roughly 2/3 of the traffic within the domain, so each global catalog will add 2/3 more replication traffic to your network. Assuming you have 10 unnecessary global catalog servers, that would be roughly an additional 6 times the replication traffic.
    27,385 pointsBadges:
  • mshen
    Correction... GC replication is not 2/3 of the traffic within a domain. It is an additional 2/3 of traffic to regular domain replication.
    27,385 pointsBadges:
  • fredski
    Global Catalog should not be on a Infrastructure Master.
    see ms article
    10 pointsBadges:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.


Share this item with your network: