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Domain configuration question for MSCS(Cluster Service) to work properly

I am about to implement a 2-node cluster on fresh installs of Windows 2008 Enterprise. Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) requires that the nodes be joined to a domain, and they recommend that the nodes themselves NOT be domain controllers.

I currently do NOT have a DC on the subnet that these machines reside. So, what's the best option from the choices below:

1) I can connect/join to our PDC which is on another subnet in another office, which it would reach via VPN. However, if the VPN tunnel went down or the PDC was otherwise unavailable, would the cluster continue to function? (BTW - The PDC is Server 2003, but I don't see anything in the literature that says not to do that)

2) What are the drawbacks to making each node a PDC? Microsoft literature says its possible to make the nodes a DC, but they don't say why they recommend against it. Has anyone tried this and not had problems? Any great reasons not to go this route?

3) Other option is to create another DC on a different subnet, but within the same physical network. I have a VM system at the datacenter and could create a DC just for the cluster - but I'd rather avoid this.
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TheLinkerG
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TheLinkerG
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Henrik JohanssonSystems engineerCommented:
3. Have a DC in same physical site is best for any authentication as the local machines will prefer the local DCs before trying to authenticate to any remote DC.

BTW: Please skip the talk about PDC as it's an old NT4-term that doesn't exist in AD-environment. All DCs are on same multimaster level.
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TheLinkerGAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tip on the PDC thing - this is my first experience with Server 08. Actually, I think I will just make a guest OS on my virtual machine at the COLO and promote it to a DC. The servers in question can point to that, and the one on the other end of the VPN tunnel as backup.

As these are Server 08 will it be a problem to run them on a 03 domain?
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Henrik JohanssonSystems engineerCommented:
Except of not getting all new GPO-functionality, it shouldn't be any problem with joining servers running Server 2008 to a domain running in 2003 functional level.
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TheLinkerGAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input!
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