Can my Exchange server work without access to the FSMO roles?

Posted on 2009-12-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
My building is slated to have a 36 hour power outage.  I need to keep my Exchange environment online during that time.  I am planning to move a 2003 domain controller and my Exchange 2003 server to another building.  

My question is this:  the domain controller I am moving to the new building will not have any of the FSMO roles.  Those are on the DCs that will lose power.  Will my Exchange environment operate properly if the DC is it using does not have any of the FSMO roles?  My forest is a single domain forest.

The Exchange environment will only be accessed by OWA users.  No adding/altering of users or other AD objects will take place during the outage.

Question by:mdrapp
    LVL 57

    Assisted Solution

    by:Mike Kline
    Yes it should be fine but it does need to access a global catalog server.  Will it have access to that? Is this box a GC?
    Also,  you can always transfer FSMO roles if you wanted to.  That is a quick and painless process.
    LVL 21

    Assisted Solution

    The DC also need to be running DNS and the Exchange srv need to use this DC as the prefered DNS.

    I'm not sure but I think it would be good to have the PDC avalible. What happen if a user type a wrong password and the PDC is unavalible, or a password expires wintin those 36 hours?

    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    I think the better way is to be transfer FSMO role holder as transfer is used for maintance purpose only,which will make GC,dns & FSMO role avaialble.

    The transfer is very simple & later you can take the role back.

    AS said,exchange uses DNS to locate srv records for Global catalogue,so, change the primary & alternate dns into exchange & it wil work fine.

    GC is used for the first time user logs into domain but exchange server needs always for GAL,membership,permission etc to locate user to authenticate & grant access.

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