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Browser Service on large, multi-VLAN AD Domain

Posted on 2006-07-08
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
We have a 2,500+ node AD domain with a mix of WS2003 and WS2K servers.  Clients are a mix of Windows 2K and XP.  There are approximately 80 routed VLANs - all considered local, that is the WAN links are all 10Mb or higher (10 sites with less that 100 clients) the remaining VLANs are all local GB backbone.  

The majority of the servers are on a single VLAN.  We use DHCP to provide IP, GW, Domain, WINS and DNS information (hybrid).  The browser service is running on the majority of clients and the amount of broadcast is becoming troublesome, especially with VoIP.  

It is my understanding that there must be at least one machine on each VLAN that has the browser service running so it can serve as the Master Browser for that VLAN.  That makes the assumption that the system acting as MB must always be up for the stations on that VLAN.  Is that correct?

Given this environment, what is the best configuration to limit the amount of broadcast traffic generated by browser elections and to ensure that browsing is not affected?

Thanks in advance for any insight...

Ray
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Question by:rjenk_2000
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SamuraiCrow earned 2000 total points
ID: 17067400
My understanding of the browser service suggests that  most configurations are automatic (with the exception of a few reghacks).  If the subnet/vlan master browser becomes unavailable there are already two or more backup browsers waiting to take its place.  The master browser server desirability and the reghacks are listed in the following link.

Details about browser service and election process

http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/43dce7f8-0741-4672-a7e3-762671110e9f1033.mspx?mfr=true

Another good tool to have on hand is browstat as mentioned in the following link.  This tool will let you view and troubleshoot your browser enviroment.

Troublshooting the browser service:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188305/A6A60D
Hope this helps.
Crow
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