Article Summary: This article provides information on whether the infrastructure master FSMO role should be placed on a global catalog server.
The infrastructure master is one of the five Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) roles assigned to one or more domain controllers (DCs) in an Active Directory forest. In a forest that contains more than one domain, it is the job of the infrastructure master to keep cross-domain references up to date. That is, if an object in domain A contains references to objects in domain B, the infrastructure master in domain A is responsible for updating those references whenever the actual objects are modified.
The infrastructure master communicates regularly with a global catalog server in order to keep cross-domain references up to date. A global catalog server stores a partial set of attributes of every object within an Active Directory forest and regularly replicates changes to other global catalog servers in the forest. When the infrastructure master detects that a cross-domain reference is out of date, it obtains updated data from a global catalog server and replicates the updated data to other DCs in its own domain.
This process functions well in most cases; however, it fails if the infrastructure master is itself a global catalog server. The reason for this is explained in Microsoft Knowledgebase article 248047: Phantoms, Tombstones, and the Infrastructure Master. Because of this, the infrastructure master must be placed on a DC that is not a global catalog server. This restriction is often repeated and is fairly well known.
However, it is less well known that there are two situations in which the infrastructure master can be placed on a global catalog server with no ill effects:
For information on the function of each FSMO role, see Operations Master Roles.
Article ID: SLN266060
Last Date Modified: 07/17/2015 01:06 PM
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