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Domain controller vs member server questions

a182612 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2007-11-27
I have two servers both a member of the same domain.  One is a domain controller running active directory.  I brought the new one in as a member server in the same domain.  Since the member server is in the same domain will the active directory on the domain controller control the access to the member server?  Can I promote the member server to a domain controller and if I do is there any impact on the member server or the files?
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Top Expert 2005

1)  Yes, the domain controller hosting AD can be used to control access to the member server.
2)  Promoting it to DC should have no impact at all - except that local logons are more tightly controlled.  Note that if you run Exchange on this server you CANNOT promote it.  Changing the role of an Exchange server will break Exchange.

Other than that, you should be good.

Hi a182612,
to answer the first question: yes, Active Directory controls (by means of Kerberos authentication) access to all objects in the domain, including folders and files on each member server (this means, that you can create discretionary access control lists on those objects, using active directory elements, such as users and groups).
Second one: if you promote the server to domain controller, there will be no significant alterations on the files. The only possible drawback I can think of right now, is that if you use local users to give permissions on the files, you will face problems: on domain controllers, in fact, you cannot manage local users, only domain users.
As for the impact on the server, it depends on the size of your domain (number of users). Remeber, however, that it is strongly recommended to have more than a domain controller in each domain.




Can the member server still control it's own local accounts if I don't promote it to a domain controller?
Yes, sure.
Anyway it is recommended to use domain accounts, whenever possible, because they are easier to maintain.

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