DC or no DC?



One of our remote sites recently had its aging server replaced.
The server was a (but not the only) Domain Controller. It was depromoted and
removed and entirely replaced altogether by a brand new server. The new
server will
only be a simple local file and print server for a dozen staff at that
remote office.

Since the replacement we have confirmed it takes about 2 minutes for staff
(at the remote office)
to log on while Windows goes thru the authentication process, applying group
policies, etc.
Previously it was quick and staff did not complain until now.

We want to avoid promoting the member server to a DC because we will be
rebuilding the entire
AD domain for political / organisational reasons later this year. In the
past we have depromoted DCs
back to member servers but they were never the same again in terms of
behaviour and performance
once they became a DC.

I have tried reducing the number of GPOs in the OU for remote staff. The
link is 128 / 128 kbps
and is used fairly heavily due to Terminal Services and Exchange (both
installed here at the
main office) plus other services like DNS, web proxy for Internet browsing.

How can I improve network performance for the remote staff?
Will installing a secondary DNS server improve performance significantly?
Can I make the server a GC even though its not a DC?
What are the pros and cons of making the remote server a DC and then
reverted back (to member
server) and forth again when the AD is rebuilt later this year? We want to
sending a tech to the remote office to rebuild the server later this year.

Is Windows 2003 better in terms of quicker authentication across low
bandwidth links?

Thankyou in advance.


Hi Sarah,

That's a very narrow pipe for them to authenticate and DNS over! Those
poor guys and gals at the remote office! Give them a DC! It doesn't
take much to promote/demote a server to a DC. If you give them an AD
Integrated DNS server that will also help them.

We have a pipe that sort of size for a dozen or so people at a remote
site. They have a DC (GC) and AD Integrated DNS up there, and logons
are quick. However access back to the main office is noticeably slow,
compared to access at the main office.Without the DC and DNS, life up
there would be hell!

DNS up there may help a little, and you cannot have a GC without a DC.
I wouldn't hesitate - I'd install a DC.



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