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Multiple Global Catalog Servers

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  • Multiple Global Catalog Servers

    I have a fairly small network (~20 users). Exchange 2003 Server on Windows 2003 (member server) along with two Windows 2003 DC's reside at the main site.
    One of the two Win2k3 boxes at the main site is a GC server.
    At the remote site I have a Windows 2000 DC, also a GC server.
    The sites are connected via point to point T1.

    I and my laptop reside at the main site with the Exchange server.
    In the midst of troubleshooting a problem today I was using a tool I found on the net ( - Essential Nettools). The GUI Netstat in this tool showed OUTLOOK.EXE had a connection to my local GC server, local Exchange server, AND the remote GC at the other site.

    Why does it connect to both? I know it has to connect to one GC, but why both? So I did some testing, and when launching OUTLOOK it tries to connect to both GC's, and if it can't reach the one at the remote site it will actually hang OUTLOOK for 5-10 minutes until it times out trying to reach it. Once it times out and moves on, it is ok for the remainder of the day (or until the next time I reboot).

    Anyone got any ideas? Is this normal behavior for more than one GC? I would think since I am local to one of the GC's that OUTLOOK would get all the information it needed from that one without having to query the remote GC at startup.

    - Adam

  • #2
    Re: Multiple Global Catalog Servers

    How are your Active Directory sites set up? Are your main and remote sites separate AD sites? Your client should be trying to contact a GC server it the site that the PC resides in, however, if you only have 1 AD site that covers both geographic regions, your PC is not smart enough to know that 1 GC is much closer in terms of network cost than the other. You need at least two sites each with bridgehead servers because your T1 is not a "well connected" network component (10Mbps or more) which is what all subnets within a site require.
    VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+ - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
    My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.