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Was wondering if there would be any issues with setting up Active Directory sites & services on an already established network?

Posted on 2011-04-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I know this is probably a stupid question, but I want to make sure before I attempt to change anything.  We had our network running for few years now. In Active directory sites and services. Nothing was ever really setup specifically for subnets or separate sites. All our domain controllers are in the default first site. And that was okay because network wasn't all that complex. But now with much more traffice going across the wan links ect. I would like to setup different sites and subnets to go along to go along with those particular sites and move the domain controller from that location to the new site. Because right now we have many users that are traveling accross the wan link to authenticate when it would be much better to authenticate to the local domain controller.

So I am wanting to change the name of the default first site create another site associate each site with the subnets that I would like to have authenticate with it in order to reduce unnecessary traffic. I found some instructions on how to make the changes ect. But was wondering If there would be any issues to change this information because Its not a brand new network.  Can I make a change like this during work hours without disrupting the network and  current users.  Would there be any specific order that I should do this in.

Here is our senario.  I have three domain controllers two at the Site 1 (data center) and one across the wan at our other Site 2( majority of users) and then we have 12 branches which connect to the data center location. These 12 branches do not have domain controllers.  All 12 branches are on a separate subnet. Site 1 and Site 2 both have there own subnet as well.

So I am looking to renaming  Default-first-Site to Site 1 and then create a new site - Site 2.
Leave the domain controllers  that are actually physically located in Site 1 where they are and Move the Domain Controller for Site 2 into Site 2

Create subnet for the Site 1 and add to Site 1.
Create  subnets of all the 12 branches and add to Site 1

Create subnet for Site 2 and add to Site 2.

This way all the machines in 12 branches  and machines in site 1 will  authenticate to the either of the two domain controllers in Site 1.

All the machines in site 2 will authenticate to the one domain controller in site 2.

Also I notice I don't have the global catelog enabled on the Domain Controller I want to put into site 2.  I am assuming this would also be good suggestion in enabling it, is that correct?

Even though the subnets are setup for a specific sites, am I correct in thinking that if the  domain controller in Site 2 goes down the users at Site 2 will then authenticate to Site 1.

I hope this makes sense.  Sorry for the long drawn out explanation. I am putting 500 points on this question not for the difficulty of the question but because of the possible lengthy answer.

Thanks
Jeff
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Question by:Splunker
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Mike Kline earned 800 total points
ID: 35434735
Not a stupid question at all

Your plan is fine renaming the default-first-site is ok.

The only thing missing is to create a site link that will include site1 and site2

Yes make all the DCs GCs.  In a single domain model like this the GC doesn't really have a role but it is best practice to try and make all your DCs GCs.

Some may ask why I always recommend that...see bullet 1   http://adisfun.blogspot.com/2009/04/lessons-learned-from-eric-fleischman.html

Yes if the DC in site2 goes down they will use site1 DCs.  That DC in site 1 would be cached for 15 minutes but the end user would probably not notice.  More on the Caching from Florain's excellent entry   http://www.frickelsoft.net/blog/?p=278

Thanks

Mike
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Author Comment

by:Splunker
ID: 35434776
Mike,

Thanks for your quick responses.
Will there any issue with doing this during work hours, loss of connection to users or servers ect?
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 35434785
There shouldn't be any issues but where I've been we always do all our maintenance after work hours.  It shouldn't take long but you will want to very replication and that everything still works as it did before.

Thanks

Mike
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Author Comment

by:Splunker
ID: 35434808
Whats the best way to verify the replication is working correctly.
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Assisted Solution

by:Tony Massa
Tony Massa earned 200 total points
ID: 35434819
You are basically correct.

You want to create a site for every HIGH speed LAN segment you have...or WAN, if you so choose.  Then create subnets that exist in each of the combined SITES.

Develop a SITE naming convention, like STATE-CITY-Description.  Though you're small, if the company grows to a lot of sites, it would prove useful.
Rename the Default-First-Site to something meaningful, like IL-CHI-HQ...doesn't really matter.

During the SITE creation, you'll probably have to start creating your IP site connections (Transports)
Design that like you would a WAN.  Hub and spoke style if that's your WAN design.  You would have HQ be the HUB, and all new sites would get a new SITE connector to HQ to control AD replication
Just don't create connectors for spoke sites...yet.  

Their should be connections with a higher cost if HQ were to fail, unless all spoke site connectivity were to be cut anyway.

Once you've created all of your sites, then you can start creating subnets and assigning to sites.

You can do all of this during production since your clients are randomly picking DCs anyway.

 Dd277430.w2kab200-big-l-en-us-.gif
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Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 35435285
On the Default First Site Name,...instead of renaming it,...just don't use it at all.  Create Sites and use them instead (ignoring the Default First Site and leaving it unconfigured).
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Kline
ID: 35435333
You can rename or delete.  If you have servers under it and you delete then obviously that causes issues.

No harm in the rename

Thanks

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Massa
ID: 35435355
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961786.aspx
Why not rename it?
There is no need to have an unused site out there...
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Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 35435379
By the same token,...why rename it?

The unused site being there doesn't mean anything.  MS products are chocked full of "Default Somethings" that often don't get used.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Splunker
ID: 35435879
Thanks guys for the advice and help.
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Author Comment

by:Splunker
ID: 35435969
If your still reading this post. Whats the server OU for ? Is this something that needs to be created in the New site. Is it necessary. I have one in the default-first-site.
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Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 35436056
There is no OU in ADS&S

You have Sites,.....Servers,.....and Subnets
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