Article Summary: This article provides information on designating an Active Directory domain controller as a global catalog server.
In a multi-domain Active Directory forest, a global catalog (GC) server is a domain controller (DC) that stores limited data about every object in the forest, in addition to the data that every DC stores about objects in its own domain. This allows searches for objects in other domains to be conducted quickly and efficiently. For information about this and other functions of global catalog servers, see The Functions of the Global Catalog in Active Directory.
The first DC in a domain is automatically designated a GC server, as every domain must contain at least one, but it is relatively simple to designate additional DCs as GC servers. To do so, perform the following steps:
It may take a few minutes for the DC to become a global catalog server. Note that designating a DC as a GC server will likely cause an increase in that server's AD replication traffic, as it will be replicating more data than before.
To reverse the process (in other words, designate that a DC should no longer be a global catalog server), follow the procedure above but uncheck the checkbox in step 5.
Also note that it is often not recommended to make the domain controller which holds the Infrastructure Master FSMO role a GC server. For more information on this, see Should the Infrastructure Master FSMO Role be Placed on a Global Catalog Server?
Article ID: SLN283492
Last Date Modified: 09/12/2014 01:50 PM