Domain Controller Replication

atlbearcat
atlbearcat used Ask the Experts™
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We have several remote sites and 1 site in particular only has 1 2003 domain controller. This domain controller went down and users were not able to authenticate. In active directory sites and services this Site only has this 1 DC listed there. Replication is setup and is working as it is connected to one of our other domain controllers. My question is what is best practice to setup up redundancy for authentication. Is this failing because we only have 1 DC in this remote site listing? Is there an alternative to actually adding a second DC in this site?
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Best practice is to have two DCs per site to provide redundancy in the event 1 DC crashes.

All you have to do to add a 2nd DC to a site is promote a member server using DCPROMO.
How many domains do you have?  If more than one, do you have redundant Global Catalogs?

When the 2003 Domain Controller is back up, can you open a command prompt window on it and run:
dcdiag /v /c

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If the domain is setup properly, the DCLOCATOR process should allow clients in one site to failover to using a domain controller in another site, in situations where their nearest site DC is down. But many things can hinder this process.

Which operating systems were the users using that failed to authenticate?

This thread discusses your issue, and at the bottom offers some fixes.
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/winserverDS/thread/746d5492-e08b-40a7-8d46-8b3b53b2f3e5

But as motnahp00 pointed out above, it's ALWAYS best to have two or more DC's per site.
Thanks for the responses guys. We have like 10 sites and some of them only have 1 DC at them and we have sites and services broken out by each site. I need to look further in the DClocator as clients should have failed over to another sites DC. All our DC's are global catalog servers.

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