Windows Server: How to Designate a Domain Controller as a Global Catalog

Windows Server: How to Designate a Domain Controller as a Global Catalog

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:

  1. Open Active Directory Sites and Services from the Administrative Tools menu.
    Note: You do not have to open the console from the DC that you wish to designate as a GC; this can be performed on any DC in the domain.
  2. Expand the Sites container, the site in which the appropriate DC resides, and the Servers container. You should see a list of the DCs in that site.
  3. Expand the DC that will become a GC. There should be an NTDS Settings object beneath it:
  4. Right-click NTDS Settings and select Properties.
  5. In the properties window, check the Global Catalog checkbox:
  6. Click OK to close the properties window.

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?

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Identyfikator artykułu: SLN283492

Data ostatniej modyfikacji: 09/12/2014 01:50 PM

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