Multi-site domain

I have a global multi-site domain. When running windows 2003 AD I have a DC in every main site ( 20 people or more) Totaling 12 sites. I have recently upgarded Central Site to windows 2008 and would like to reduce the AC replication traffic throughout the network by reducing the number of DC's. Perhaps only at the 4 main sites with over 50 people.
DOes anyone have a MS guide or can offer advice on which sites should qualify for a DC.
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Mike KlineCommented:
You can look at the branch office guide

I haven't looked at it recently and don't have time to go through it right now (work meeting soon) but it gives you some ideas.

How big is your ntds.dit, intersite replication is compressed and shouldn't cause that much churn in a smaller environment like yours.

However reducing DCs is a good thing (less to maintain and worry about).  What are you link speeds between the remote sites and the 4 main sites.  How reliable is the link.

The main thing you get with a local DC is the ability to login if the WAN is down.  If it is down they could also still login with cached credentials.


Will you be upgrading your remote sites to 2008 in the immediate future?

Replication traffic should be fairly minimal once the initial replication SysVol replication takes place.  Only changes to objects are replicated, not the entire object.  For example, a phone number on a user object is changed.  Replication will only take place for the phone number, not the user object.

An option would be to replace some of your DC's with Read-Only DC's.  That will reduce your replication traffic and increase your security at the same time.

If you don't have a DC at each site, you will actually increase your WAN traffic instead of reducing it.  Without a local DC, all authentication traffic will need to be transported across the WAN.  This will degrade performance as well.  Note: Authentication traffic is much more than just user logon.
Rbauckham69Author Commented:
Thanks I'll have a read through. Are there many significant differences with 2008 compared to 2003?
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

There are quite a few really nice improvements from 2003 to 2008R2.



These are just for Active Directory.  There are more changes for the server itself.

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Mike KlineCommented:
There are new features and improvements but if you know your way around 2003 you should be able to get around 2008 without a lot of issues.

There is a bigger learning curve from 2003/2008 to Windows 8


Rbauckham69Author Commented:
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