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Network Domain

Posted on 2001-06-05
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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Another question from a newbie
1) Why do I have the option to join a Domain under Network Properties / Identification Changes on a couple of my NT4 servers but not the others?

2) Am I correct in believing that servers in two different cities using the same IP subnet with their own routers be a member of the same domain and share information? I am replacing a server in a distant city, that I had to establish a trust in order to share data, if I make it a member of our domain wouldn?t that do the same thing.
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Question by:mmarris
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by:vsamtani
ID: 6157164
1. If a server is a Domain Controller (either Primary or Backup) then it has to be in a domain. But if it's a Member Server (ie it's a server, but it's not involved in managing the domain) it can join and leave domains in the same way that NT workstations can. If you look in Server Manager, you'll be able to see at a glance which servers are domain controllers and which are member servers.

2. Yes they can. Trust relationships are between domains, not within them. However, domain controllers in the same domain do a lot of talking to each other, so you need to be sure that if you spread your domain over a wide area, that the wide-area network can support their communication requirements (and that it won't bankrupt you).

Vijay
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by:mmarris
ID: 6157258
Follow-up?
1)Is it possible to change from a primary server to a member without reinstalling NT?

2)By making them all a member of the same Domain wouldn?t take make it easier to establish security and shares between the cities?
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vsamtani earned 100 total points
ID: 6157877
1. Microsoft say it is impossible to change from a domain controller to a member server, or vice-versa, in NT4 without a full reinstall. However, you can buy third-party software that will change the server status without having to go through a reinstall. I have used it successfully: it's called UPromote, and it is available at www.utools.com . If you can't afford the time / resources / server downtime a full reinstall would require, it is worth a look.

2. I presume you're thinking about having one primary domain controller in one city, and then a backup domain controller in each of the other cities, all linked through your wide-area network and all on the same IP network. This is certainly the simplest setup as far as administering shares, security etc goes. What you need to remember is that the primary and backup domain controllers will be sending a lot of traffic back and forth between them, in the form of security database queries and updates, WINS messages, and so forth. This will all consume bandwidth on your WAN links. In addition, you need to assess the reliability of your WAN links, and what will happen if the different city sites should become disconnected from the PDC for any length of time. NT domains get very unreliable if the PDC goes down for any length of time - microsoft claims that the domain is supposed to keep running happily on the BDC, but this is not the experience I've had with them. In short, a single domain spread over a large area is probably easier to administer than a set of small domains linked by trust relationships, but it's also more vulnerable to network failures or loss of performance. You need to decide how to trade these two things off against each other, based on the use to which your network is being put.


Vijay

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by:mmarris
ID: 6158190
Thanks for the help!
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