Number of Global Catalogs



We have an 8 site Active Directory with each site having
one global catalog server per site (two dc's per site,
one being a GC). Our HQ has three Domain Controllers,
with one being a global catalog server. Since
introducing exchange 2000 into the environment, we have
noticed very high utilization on the GC server in out HQ
site. I would like to replace our existing servers in HQ
with faster servers but I would like to know how many
GC's should I have in our HQ site? Microsoft recomends
at least one but also states that too many GC's can cause
performance problems. I was thinking of having a total
of 4 domain controllers in the HQ site, with 2 being
global catalogs. We have about 600 users in the HQ site
but we use the active directory for everything - from
exchange 2000 to web site authentication to gather
information via scripts. Thanks for the input.

David Brandt [MSFT]

The plan you have making two gc's in your hq site sounds fine, and if you
wanted to make 3 of them gc's it would probably be fine too. I doubt that
you would notice any performance hit with an enterprise of you size.

David Brandt
Microsoft Corporation

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Simon Geary

The reason for not having too many GC's is the excess replication traffic it
would generate. As your DC's at HQ are presumably connected at LAN speeds
this shouldn't be too much of a problem. I think you can probably create a
second GC without causing any problems. It is always good from a redundancy
point of view as well.

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