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Two linked sites. Two different Server OS's - Can both servers be PDC's?

Posted on 2008-06-18
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We have two sites linked together by a secure VPN.
Site 1 is running a Windows 2000 Server, while Site 2 is running a Windows 2003 Server.
Presently the 2000 Server is the PDC and deals with DCHP and AD.  The 2003 server is just used for File and Print sharing. Site one and Site 2 are on different IP ranges, X.X.120.X and X.X.130.X respectivley.

I would like to be able to make the 2003 server on site 2 a PDC and have it running DHCP and look after its own clients, while still allowing communication with the other site for file access.

I know there are issues with 2003 domains and 2000 domains not working, but as it's on a different site with a different  IP range, would it really be a problem?

Thanks in advance
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Question by:andy195
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tigermatt earned 250 total points
ID: 21814153
The concept of PDC and BDC no longer exists on a Windows Server network which is running Server 2000 OS or newer. Every Domain Controller on one of these networks is equal, except some servers will be the holders of the FSMO roles, one of which includes a PDC Emulator role. This is simply a role which is present for interoperability with previous versions of Windows which look for this role. FSMO roles can only be held by one server in a domain at a time.

Provided both servers are configured as Global Catalog servers, they run the DNS service, and you have correctly configured and moved the servers to their appropriate sites in AD Sites & Services, there is not really any more you can do to make the remote server responsible for its portion of the network.

-tigermatt
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by:TheCapedPlodder
TheCapedPlodder earned 250 total points
ID: 21814164
Is the 2003 server a member of the 2000 domain?  I assume it is.

You do not need both servers to be a PDC but they can quite happily both be domain controllers serving the local sites needs.

Before you promote the 2003 server to be a domain controller you will need to run adprep:

adprep /forestprep
and
adprep /domainprep

If this server is R2 then this is on disk 2 of the setup under \CMPNENTS\R2\.  If it's not R2 then this is on disk 1.

Before you run DCPROMO create a new site in Active Directory Sites and Services and bind the subnet ranges accordingly.

You will also want to create an IP site connector to link the two sites.

Once this is done you can run DCPROMO and promote the server to be a DC.

You should then enable the server as a global catalog: go to Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services, Expand, Sites, Default first site and Servers. Right click on the new server and select properties and tick the "Global Catalog" checkbox.

You can then install and configure DHCP for the local site but be sure to reconfigure/disable the existing scope(s) on the other server to prevent any overlap.  You will also want to install DNS and enable AD intergrated DNS zones.  Set the local DHCP scopes to use the correct default gateway and the local DNS server as primary and remote as secondary.

Also change the new DC to point to itself for DNS.

If you want to you can move the FSMO roles to the new DC: See http://www.petri.co.il/transferring_fsmo_roles.htm
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by:tgtran
ID: 21814169
Are you talking about getting site 2 on the same domain as site 1?  W2003 can be a DC in the same domain as W2000.  Your plan is definitely doable.
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by:andy195
ID: 21814304
I want the 2003 server at site 2 to run DHCP, the same as the 2000 Server does at Site 1, without losing any of the connectivity they have at present.  

This has come about as the old router has been replaced at site 2 and we now have problems with IPs and network connectivity.   If i can have the 2003 site maybe running AD and DHCP, then it will make it far easier to maintain
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by:tgtran
ID: 21814751
Win2003 can be DHCP server for that site's subnet.  You can also have the router to forward DHCP traffics or not.
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by:tigermatt
ID: 21815062
Just enable the DHCP service on the second server. Provided the routers aren't specifically configured to forward DHCP requests, this won't hamper the other site's setup.

-tigermatt
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by:andy195
ID: 21822506
I'll have a look into the suggestions made, and either ask some more questions or assign some points.

Thanks for all your help guys.
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by:andy195
ID: 21872848
Thanks for all the information.  
The advice you provided has allowed me to formulate a plan to do what i was looking for.
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by:tigermatt
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You're welcome!
Thanks :-)
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Besides backup, any IT division should have a disaster recovery plan. You will find a few tips below relating to the development of such a plan and to what issues one should pay special attention in the course of backup planning.

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