Is it possible for two Primary domain controllers to be holding the same FSMO rules?

Posted on 2009-02-11
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Is it possible for two Primary domain controllers to be holding the same FSMO rules? In my organization I only have 1 PDC and 2 Global catalogs and was thinking of having another PDC server for redundancy purposes, just incase the other fails.  I am using Win 2003 server.
Question by:inderdev
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Not a valid configuration, you can only have one FSMO master for each role.  A DC/GC can do pretty much everything a PDC can do, and you can sieze the roles in a few mins if were the master server to suddenly die.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Nope, but you can sieze the FSMO if a DC is dead permenantly.
    Here's some reason why you cannot have the same exact FSMO on two DCs.
    Every forest must have the following roles:
    ·        Schema master
    ·        Domain naming master
    These roles must be unique in the forest. This means that throughout the entire forest there can be only one schema master and one domain naming master.

    Every domain in the forest must have the following roles:
    ·        Relative ID (RID) master
    ·        Primary domain controller (PDC) emulator master
    ·        Infrastructure master
    These roles must be unique in each domain. This means that each domain in the forest can have only one RID master, PDC emulator master, and infrastructure master.

    Some info on when to seize the FSMO:
    If an operations master is not available due to computer failure or network problems, you can seize the operations master role. This is also referred to as forcing the transfer of the operations master role. Do not seize the operations master role if you can transfer it instead. Before forcing the transfer, first determine the cause and expected duration of the computer or network failure. If the cause is a networking problem or a server failure that will be resolved soon, wait for the role holder to become available again. If the domain controller that currently holds the role has failed, you must determine if it can be recovered and brought back online.

    In general, seizing an operations master role is a drastic step that should be considered only if the current operations master will never be available again. The decision depends upon the role and how long the particular role holder will be unavailable.

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