Configuring a Domain Controller to Cover Multiple Sites






Configuring a Domain Controller to Cover Multiple Sites

Problem

You want to configure a domain controller to cover multiple sites, which will cause clients in all of those sites to use that domain controller for authentication and directory lookups.

Solution

Using a graphical user interface
  1. Run regedit.exe from the command line or click Start Run.

  2. In the left pane, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters.

  3. If the SiteCoverage value does not exist, right-click on Parameters in the left pane and select New Multi-String Value. For the name, enter SiteCoverage.

  4. In the right pane, double-click on the value and enter each site the server should cover on a separate line.

  5. Click OK.

Using a command-line interface
	> reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters /v
	"SiteCoverage" /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d <Site1>\0<Site2>

Using VBScript
	' This code configures a domain controller to cover multiple sites.
	' ------ SCRIPT CONFIGURATION ------
	strDC = "<DomainControllerName>" ' e.g. dc01
	arrSites = Array("<Site1>","<Site2>") ' Array of sites to cover
	' ------ END CONFIGURATION ---------

	strNTDSReg = "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters"
	const HKLM = &H80000002
	set objReg = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strDC & "\root\default:StdRegProv")
	objReg.SetMultiStringValue HKLM, strNTDSReg, _
	                     "SiteCoverage", _
	                     arrSites
	WScript.Echo "Site coverage set for " & strDC

Discussion

In an Active Directory environment, it is perfectly valid to have a site that does not contain its own domain controller. In fact, if you model the site topology after your real network, some sites will lack their own domain controllers unless you've deployed a branch office architecture or have very few sites. If you create sites without any domain controllers, the site links between the sites will determine which domain controllers will cover or advertise their services to the site. When a domain controller covers for a remote site, it needs to publish site-specific DNS resource records that clients in the remote site can use to find the domain controller. Active Directory will select DCs to cover DC-less sites automatically, but you can hardcode the list of sites a specific domain controller should cover by modifying the Registry as described in the Solution section.

See Also

MS KB 200498 (Configure a Domain Controller for Membership in Multiple Sites)



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