Difference between additional DC and child domain

Posted on 2006-06-05
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi Experts,

I'm learning MS windows 2003 Active directory and I have something unclear And I need your comment to clear it out.

Let's say a companyABC has a headquarter in City A and 2 branch offices in City B and City C.

So I want your recommendation which one of the options below is better:

1. Install Active directory domain in the headquarter and intall additional domain controller in the other two cities. so in overall, there is only one domain in the forest.

2. Install active directory domain in the headquarter and intall a child domain for each of the branch office.


Question by:mrpc_cambodia
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    Hi mrpc_cambodia,

    no need for a child domain in this scenario

    install an additional domain controller and set up sites in active directory

    what kind of connection do you have between sites?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Agree - Active Directory doesn't need you to have multiple domains.  setup a single domain and use sites.  You would also create an OU for each site in Active Directory and delegate management of that OU (if desired) to others at the site - essentially giving the other(s) at the site administrative ability over their own site, but NOT over your company wide domain.

    Author Comment

    When there are multiple domain controllers or multiple domains in a forest, then there is replication traffic between those DC or domains, right?

    So Among the two options below, which one will produce the least replication traffic?

    1. replication between multiple DCs in a single domain in a forest.

    2. replication between multiple domains (parent domain/child domain) in a forest.

    I know that in Active directory, We can use Site to tell the system about the server physical location so the system will adjust the replication traffic to suit the environment.

    but anyway, I think there must be some differences between the two options I mentioned above, and for that to become clear, I need your comment.

    LVL 48

    Accepted Solution

    well there is replication either way but there wil be more with 2 DC's as you are replicating an entire active directory structure

    a child domain would end up having its own ad structure of users a groups which unless you are segmented companies is not really appropriate

    child domain of =

    if you have a slow connection then schedule for off peak replication - there isnt a heavy amount of traffic anyway with 2003 servers

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