Multiple sites and slow logon

Posted on 2008-11-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi All,

I started my new job as support engineer last month. The company I work for has a site in Belgium and in The Netherlands. One of the complaints I get a lot is that loging on to Windows can take long sometimes (2/3 minutes). Sometimes the logon screen freezes. At other times the Applying your settings windows is shown for a long time.

Both sites have a domain controller (DC-NL and DC-BE). Now I did some tests with a spare laptop. I logged on 10 times (after restarting the machine completely each time). Then I looked at the LogonServer environment variable. 4 times I was authenticated by DC-BE and the other 6 times I got authenticated by DC-NL. Oh yeah, I'm in Belgium by the way :-)

I think this is the cause of the slow logon. Now I've googled a bit and from what I can tell (I'm not an MCSA/MCSE) the best way to handle this is to create multiple sites in Active Directory. Currently there's only one site there (Default-First-Site-Name :p hey, that's how they set it up, not me!). If I get it right I need to create 2 sites and then move both DC's to their proper site. This way, depending on the IP I get I get authenticated to the nearest DC...

Is this correct? I've never done this before and I'm not sure of the impact doing this change. So, if I'm correct, can someone also give me some tips and tell me the dangers of making those 2 sites?
Question by:techteamane
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    Essentially yes
    You need to have different subnets at each site and then allocate each subnet to a site in AD Sites and Services. A site can have multiple subnets, but a subnet cannot span sites.

    You also need to make sure that the DC on each site is also a global catalog server to prevent cross-site referals for universal group membership details at logon.

    Also you need to have a DNS server at each site (ADintegrated on the DC is fine), and make sure that clients on each site are configured to used their local DNS server as their preferred DNS server.

    Author Comment

    Hey KCTS,

    Thanks for that information! I read about it online and also read about the subnets. I'm not realy into that stuff but I know the following:

    * In NL the address range is 192.168.138.x with subnet
    * In BE the address range is 192.168.144.x with subnet

    So, when I want to create subnets in AD Sites and Services I'm asked to enter a network address and a mask... What should I enter there? Let's say for BE? If I have this information I think I have everything I need to go on

    Once again, thanks for the fast reply!
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Looks like its alredt set up so you just have to enter the information
    so for BE the subnet Mask

    Author Closing Comment

    Exactly the information I needed. A confirmation of my theory and extra information to make my job easier!

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