Exchange/Global Catalog priority

Posted on 2006-04-26
Last Modified: 2010-10-05
150 users connecting to stand-alone exchange servers & DC, GC in house (exchange 2003 sp2)
150 users connecting to clustered exchange servers & DC, GC via 45 meg DS3 connection to a remote data center (*NEW EXCHANGE ENVIRONMENT*) (exchange 2003 sp2)

I need to point the 1st 150 users to my inhouse GC and I need to point the other 150 users to my remote GC.  I've read numerous articles and I've come to conclusion that I need to change the priority & weight SRV records in DNS to accomplish this.  But this would force everyone to point to one or the other.  Is there a way to configure this in Exchange?  There is a Directory Access tab in ESM on the properties of my server but I'm not sure this will accomplish what I want to do.  

The reason for this is because I want my clients(outlook) to point to the GC that is closest to where their respective exchange server resides.

Before installing new my exchange cluster I did not have a DC,GC at that datacenter and I had complaints of Outlook receving the "Requesting data from" message anytime they try to do anything in Outlook.  As soon as I installed a DC and made it a GC in the remote data center, complaints dropped, although we still get a few.  I've looked at multiple clients (Outlook) whose mailboxes reside at the remote datacenter and the GC they are connecting to is the one in-house...but many times it changes to the GC in the remote datacenter and when that happens, performance increases and they do not receive the "Requesting data..." message.

Please let me know if I haven't explained myself clearly.
Question by:parinpatel
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    Exchange uses the first GC to respond. The clients should also use the first GC to respond, and in a correct setup site that should be a local GC. I would not suggest trying to lock down Exchange to a specific GC as that can cause problems.

    Are you using sites in Active Directory? If not, then you should. That helps a lot with getting the servers to talk to the "right" server.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Yes, I am using sites in AD.  
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    The only reason the clients would change from using the local GC to the remote GC is when the local one is too slow to respond and the client thinks it is no longer there. It then goes looking for another one. Have you looked at the GCs to see if there is a load issue? DO you have just the two domain controllers? If not, and you don't have the roles split one on each server, make them all a GC.


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