Subdomains on a Windows 2003 SBS Network

I have a network with a Windows 2003 SBS server at our head office, we are adding a Windows 2008 Standard Server at a branch office.

Currently all the computers at the head office are membes of the "company.local" domain (e.g. computer.company.local) , what I would like to do is have all the head office computers in a sub-domain, (e.g. computer.headoffice.company.local) and all the branch office computers in another sub-domain (e.g. computer.branchoffice.company.local).

Is this possible? If so how?

Microsoft have told me that because I already have enough SBS CALs for both offices, as long as the second Windows 2008 Standard Server is in the same domain, I wont have to purchase speperate CALs for the 2008 server, so I want to keep both the servers in the same main domain, but segregated into subdomains as well.

Any help would be appreciated.
Kiwi-UserAsked:
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QuetzalCommented:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc672103(WS.10).aspx
"You can't create child domains. With Windows SBS, you cannot create subdomains in your existing root domain (such as subdomain.contoso.local)."
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

It's covered under the "Disjointed namespace" topic, it's not separate AD domains.

I have no idea if SBS will allow you to do it, you could for a full domain. I would be surprised to find specific documentation for doing this with SBS, it's generally something you encounter in very big domains.

What benefit do you think you will get from this? Just wondering if there's another way to add the separation you want.

Chris
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Oh, and regardless of the domain size, it adds a fair amount of complexity to your domain. I would not recommend doing it without a very good reason.

Chris
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Kiwi-UserAuthor Commented:
Chris,

The reason for doing it was to make the dns addresses look nice, comp1.office1.co.local looks better in the customer documentation than office01-comp01.co.local
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Then I would strongly advise you do not do this.

This is it not a trivial configuration. It introduces complexity into the name resolution system, requires modifications in AD and client configuration. It's all fine if the person managing the network fully understands DNS and AD, but there isn't much call for such depth in the small business world is there?

Your documentation would have to be 20 pages or more longer to explain why / how it has been done and how to support it.

MS documentation starts here if you're curious why I think this is the case:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773264.aspx

I'm sorry it's not easier, I can certainly appreciate your reasons for exploring it.

Chris
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

> but there isn't much call for such depth

Is better phrased as "there isn't much call for such focus". I love this kind of complexity, but I would be lost at sea trying to support a small business (or they would probably wish I were after a few weeks).

Chris
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Kiwi-UserAuthor Commented:
Chris,

Thanks for the info, its been an interesting read. The main reason im looking into this is that we are putting in a Windows 2008 Server at our branch office, and adding all the computers there to a domain. As all the computers are being added to a domain for the first time, it would make things look nice and tidy if I could use different DNS subdomains for offices, (we are also adding two new branch offices onto the system next month). But in reality there are only about 25 computers and 10 other networked devices, so I think I will take the simple option of naming computers as OFFICE1-COMP1.domain.local and OFFICE3-COMP2.domain.local etc, and put each offices users / computers into their own AD OU.

Thanks for your help.
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Don't forget to configure Sites and Services if they have a local DC, that'll help optimise login (otherwise they'll bother the server over the WAN connection) :)

Chris
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Kiwi-UserAuthor Commented:
Chris,

Thanks, I was planning to do that, I dont want too much traffic over the DSL VPN.

One more question, (if you don't mind); I have changed the names of all of the client computers at head office, how do I get the Win2k3 DNS Server to update this?

(And also how do I get the Win2k3 Server to resolve external (internet) DNS querries? So far I have just set two DNS servers on the client computers, the primary being the 2K3 SBS Server and the secondary being the external server, but I would prefer just to set one).
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

It depends a bit on how updates are happening. If you're  using the default, DHCP updating DNS, then they should update if you renew the lease "ipconfig /Release" then "ipconfig /Renew".

Yeah, having the external DNS there will cause you problems in the longer term, if clients can't find the domain in DNS you'll get slow logons and authentication problems.

By default MS DNS uses Root Hints to find public DNS names (see DNS Properties, Root Hints tab). If you prefer you can add teh External DNS server under the Forwarders tab, then all non-local requests will be sent to that server.

Chris
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Kiwi-UserAuthor Commented:
I'm not actually using the MS WIN2K3 DHCP server but rather the one on our pfSense router, I have found that in the past the wheels kinda fall of everything in the office when the server goes down if people rely on the MS one.
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Fair enough, then clients will be updating with DNS directly (they will unless told otherwise by DHCP). In which case you should be able to run:

ipconfig /registerdns

Just keep in mind that if they send the request to the other DNS server in their configuration it'll get lost so I'd remove that first if you can.

Chris
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Kiwi-UserAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your help Chris, thats clarified my AD issues, and solved my DNS problems.
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

No problem, good luck with it :)

Chris
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