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Pau Lo

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availability/continuity/performance for a new AD

Are there any best practices when it comes to designing a new AD, around availability/continuity? Especially if you have a role as sort of technical architect, what designs do you build in for continuity / availability / performance?

On the flip side of the coin what poor designs could affect continuity / availability / performance for a new AD?

Any MS good practice documentation in this area would be useful as a point of reference.
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Paul MacDonald
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Pau Lo

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Have you had domain controllers "go down", so a second/third has to kick in? Is it common for them to go down - what sort of issues cause them to go down or become unavailable?
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It's not any more common for a Domain Controller to fail than it is for any other computer to fail.  That said, computers do fail so it behooves you to have multiple domain controllers so you can keep your users working.
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Can I just ask how youd determine whether you need x2 domain contollers (one in case the other goes down), or mroe than 2. What kind of issues influence the number you need, from a management perspective?

Also, can you think of any reason why a company would only utilise 1 DC? Is adding an additional DC a major cost, I cant see why people would only use 1 unless theirs valid reasons for doing so?
You should have 2 in any domain that supports production users.   More than two if you have user/application load that needs more than two.

Another reason for more than two is if you have remote sites and you have those sites setup in AD and you want the users in the remote sites to logon to their local DC.

Another reason would be lets say you have a main site and have two DCs.  If you have a DR site you might want a DC there for the worst case scenario.

Thanks

Mike
I'd say at least two per major site.  One in each branch office if you can afford it/it makes sense.

The only reasons to not have multiple DCs are
1) ignorance, or
2) affordablility

But you're right that a DC doesn't cost more than any other PC/server.
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>>More than two if you have user/application load that needs more than two.


Is there any user:DC ratio then if we talk about user load. I.e. does a DC typically support x amount of users?
That depends on the server itself, but it's usually several thousand.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc728303(v=ws.10).aspx