Redundant DCs (Domain Controllers)

Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Windows
Hello Everyone, In our environment, we have 4 DCs (AD 2000), 2 Exchange 2000 servers and 2 DCHP/WINS 2000 servers. All DCs are also configured to be DNS and GC (global catalogs). I called them DC1, DC2, DC3 and DC4. My understanding is that, as long as one DC is still up and running, users can still authenticate and access their e-mail. However, I have realized that DC1 appears to be more critical. Every time it goes down, Exchange e-mail is no longer available. And users can no longer authenticate to the network. Conversely though, if DC1 is running, and all the other DCs (DC2, DC3, and DC4) are down, we don?t seem the same adverse effect. Users can still log into the network. My question: Is there a specific configuration to prevent that our network relies on one domain controller? We thought we were building redundancy by adding 3 additional DCs. However, that does not seem to work well. Thanks. - Sitigui Ouattara. Windows/Exchange Network Administrator

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In order to login you have to have the DC’s enable for Global Catalog. Make sure sure you check your FSMO roles as well. You can enable other servers to server as GC in Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand site and then expand server, then right click NTDS settings, Check box for Global Catalog and now that server will answer logins. I would only recommend doing this on 2 other server locally. That would give you 3 total servers answering logins at your site. Make sure you check your DHCP scope as well to make sure that DNS is being handed out properly (dedundent DNS, and DHCP should be setup).

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  • Dwiebesick
    You need to provide a lot more detail on your network. Is DNS active directory intergrated? Where are the 2 Exchange servers logical location in your network? What is the logical relationship between your DCs, DHCP/WINS and workstations? The more detailed informaton, the better. dmw
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