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Two SBS Domain Controllers on one network

Posted on 2014-12-10
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Last Modified: 2014-12-12
Hi

We are soon to be merging with another company in the new year.

As part of this move, we will be bringing their PCs and ours on to a new domain.

We both currently have our relevant domain controllers, one is 2008 SBS r2 and the other is SBS 2011.

Question is, can we have both running on the same network but separate domains?

Is it possible? If so, what issues do we have to look out for?

Cheers
Dom
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Question by:cbapartnership
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by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 100 total points
ID: 40491338
Absolutely not a problem - you just can't have two SBS servers on the same domain.

You might need to split the servers up in terms of network segment if they are both using the same internal IP Address range but there is nothing stopping you having them on the same network.
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David Atkin earned 200 total points
ID: 40491370
Couple of things to think about here:

1) As Alan said, they will want to be segregated, if they aren't then you will have issues with DHCP etc.

2) External IP Addresses - If they are both using the exchange server for mail or RWA etc then you are going to need to have two separate WAN IP Addresses so that port 25/80 etc can forward correctly. Make sure that you have a router that can handle two WAN IP's.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 40491479
Agreed with the above.  Though you COULD keep all systems in the SAME subnet PROVIDED you disable DHCP on one server and set DNS statically for its clients.  (SBS would should down it's DHCP server if it detects another DHCP on the network - whichever detects the other first wins.  But if you turn one off and go static with their clients, there should be no problem).  DO NOT set DNS on the clients to use the other SBS server as a secondary - this can cause you problems on your network finding network resources.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 100 total points
ID: 40491487
Additionally, you cannot set up any sort of trusts between the two domains. So users on domain A will not have seamless access to resources on domain B.

In truth, considering the shared IP space, lack of domain trusts, usual need to segregate network segments for DHCP, etc, the definition of being on the "same" network becomes murky. If the separation is logical  or virtual, such as VLANs, can you really say they are on the same network anymore?

It is mainly an academic argument, but the fundamental point is that two SBS servers in the same organization is painful to manage, prone to difficulties for users, and legally ambiguous (at best.)  My honest suggestion is plan a migration. The cost of such an endeavor should be considered part of the acquisition/merger.
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by:David Atkin
David Atkin earned 200 total points
ID: 40491630
With regards to the Share Access - Seamless access to shares could almost be accomplished by creating duplicate User Accounts on both Server.  This however can get very messy and its not good practice (I'm not suggesting it as a solution tbh).

The best solution here depends on if the two companies need access to each other servers etc.  If full access for both companies is required then I would think about migrating as suggested by Cliff.   If not, then I would physically separate both networks.
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