Domain controller and global catalog server

We are having the following problem. When our domain controller goes down no one can log into the domain, SQL database or the Exchange Server.

My 3 main questions are:

1)Is this by default setup like this? I presume it is by the fact that my domain controller is also my global catalog server.
2) If my current global catalog server goes down is it possible to upgrade another domain controller as a global catalog server? What I want to know is if this will work like this?
3)My last question is, can I have more than one server as a global catalog server on my network?

Thank you so much
mustekkznAsked:
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RobnhoodCommented:
Do you have another server that you can promote to a domain contoller?
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rindiCommented:
If it is a SBS there probably isn't any easy way out of it. If it is a standard Server you can build another Server and there it is possible to run dcpromo so you have second Domain Controller.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
Yes we do have another server to promote to a domain controller.
I am very stressed out about the fact that if our global catalog goes down will I be able to recover it. What news to do be done to prevent from something like that to haven.
Also, I have upgraded another PC to a Global catalog server, should it kick in when I reboot the orginal one?

Sorry for asking, but what is SBS
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RobnhoodCommented:
In Active Directory Users and Computers, right click on your domain and select Operations Masters.  

Make sure that you move the operations managers to another domain controller.

You are going to have to change the Schema master ao another  domain controller.

This is a great resource for replacing Windows 2000 Domain controllers and such.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/administration/activedirectory/adops.asp

Craig.

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RobnhoodCommented:
SBS refers to Windows Small Business Server.

Craig.

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terrygreensillCommented:
Having two global catalogs is a good idea as universal group membership can be access when a user logs on even when other domain controler is down. It is not a problem having two Global Catalogs the only negative replication traffic between the two servers.

Have you thought that this could be a name resolution problem?

If so you could install another DNS server on the network either active directory integrated or a secondary copy.
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swinterbornCommented:
To go through your points:

1) If no Global Catalog is available, noone will be able to logon - universal group membership is only stored on the GC, so a non-GC domain controller will refuse to log users on if no GC is available in case a users universal group membership denies them logon rights.

2 & 3) Not quite sure from your question how many domain controllers you have, but best practice would be to have at least 2 DC'sfor resilience. You need to get the second in place long before the first goes down. Both DC's should be configured as GC's. These services are designed from scratch to have multiple instances in place on the network, there will be no problems from having more than one GC active.

As long as DNS is in place and correct, the logon process will be able to find any available DC or GC.

As terrygreensill says, make both of them DNS servers, preferably with AD integrated zones.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for all this info.

I have got three domain controllers currently setup.
I have setup a second GC.Left it for a day. I restarted all my servers and then took my first GC offline. I could log into my exchange server, but my SQL I was not able to do the same.


You said something about naming resolution problem, how can I check that out, please let me know.
Cheers, much apprecaited for all this info, something to look into.
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terrygreensillCommented:
Do you have more than one DNS server if not then i would suggest adding another one to your network.

You can use the nslookup command line tool to see if you have and name resolution problems
Type nslookup  followed by enter
then type the SERVER name of FQDN to see if you get a returned ip address.


Hope this helps

Terry
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I have only one DNS server setup. At this stage I dont want to complicate things even more. Do you think if I added another DNS server it would solve the problem?

Okay, I tried the nslookup command.
DC 1 can see DC2 and DC3, and other way around too. DC2 and DC3 can see each other, but DC2 and DC3 cant see each other. It comes up with: DC* cant find nslookup: No response from server.

Do you know how I can get around this?

Thanks so much.  
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terrygreensillCommented:
Well I would install another DNS server as if your DNS server goes down then you will not have any name resolution in place and servers will not be contactable.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I just noticed something now.

DC2 is giving me the following error if nslookup DC1 NON-existent domain and with DC3: no response from server.

I have been searching on these errors and found out that it is possible that my PTR records mite be something wrong with.
How can I find this out?
I am seriously starting to think of us setting up another DNS server.

Thanks so much
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terrygreensillCommented:
Ok

You may already know this but PTR records are pointer records and are used for reverse lookups eg. ip address to name resloution. this is not required in most cases but is useful. To set this up you just need to create a reverse lookup zone within DNS and add your subnet address in the wizard.

Also check to see if all your servers network cards setting (ip setting) are set up with the right DNS server.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I am wanting to setup Reverse lookup zones, I got to the wizard and dont know what option to choose in the zone types.
The options are: Active directory-integrated, Standard Primary or Standard Secondary. Please, if you can just give me an idea on which one.

thanks alot.

I did check the IP addresses of all the servers and they are all pointing to the correct DNS server.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I have decided to setup another DNS server. Can someone just please let me know the complications of doing that?
That would be much apprecaited.
Thanks
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swinterbornCommented:
If your first DNS server is AD integrated, which is recommended, then simply installing DNS on another DC will automatically pick up the zone data with no input from yourself.
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I see that it has done it. But, there is always a but, hey.
The forwards lookup zone is 100%, but the reverse lookup zone has got no info at all. DO you know why?
What about DHCP? Dont I have to configutre it to look for the new DNS server?
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swinterbornCommented:
DHCP - yes, you will have to add the new server to the options list for all scopes.

reverse lookup zone - if the first DNS server hosted an AD integrated zone, it will be picked by the second. If the zone is empty on the first server, it will be empty on the second. A newly created reverse lookup zone will take approximately 2 weeks to become fully poulated, depending on the configuration of your dhcp and dns servers.

HTH
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
Can you think of anything anything else that needs to be setup and changed to movve the DNS server?

With regards to the reverse lookup zone. I left it for a couple of hours and there you go, it apeared. It was probably in the process of moving across.
How would I know if my reverse lookup zone is setup the right way? How can I test it?
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terrygreensillCommented:
You can text reverse lookup zones by using the nslookup command e.g.

Nslookup followed by enter
type the ipaddress and it should return the computer name.

Hope this help
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swinterbornCommented:
On a client workstation, run ipconfig /renew and ipconfig /registerdns - you should then see a PTR record has been created for the client
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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
I setup a new DNS server now. Things are looking much better now. Still having a few smaller problems.
Thanks for all your help and pointing me into the right direction.
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