Learn how planning the configuration and placement of global catalog Active Directory domain controllers is key to a high-performing Exchange organization.
- [Voiceover] Exchange Server relies heavily on Active Directory to store and track details about users, Exchange servers, mailbox databases, and more. This makes it important to locate your mailbox servers near Active Directory domain controllers that are capable of supporting them in everything Exchange expects. As we design the Active Directory topology and place Exchange servers and Global Catalog servers, our goal is to give all Exchange servers fast, reliable access to all of Active Directory.
The first aspect of fast access is the performance of the domain controller. Microsoft recommends that for every eight processor cores in your Exchange servers you should have at least one processor core in a Global Catalog domain controller. This is counted at the Active Directory site level, but you may want to look at your data center topology and make sure that they're very close to each other in that respect as well. Also, keep in mind that the 8:1 ratio doesn't count read-only domain controllers or any DC's that are not Global Catalog servers.
These designations were made when the server was promoted to domain controller. Let's consider a couple of scenarios to see what this looks like. I've use Landon Hotels as a case scenario in other Exchange courses, so lets continue with them. Let's say that Landon Hotels has a data center at their corporate office in Los Angeles, where three Exchange servers are going to be installed. Each server has dual eight-processor cores. That means we have 48 processor cores in our Exchange servers.
If we divide that by eight, we get the number of recommended Global Catalog domain controller cores. 48 divided by eight is six, so that's the number we're looking for. If we currently have one quad-core Global Catalog server and two quad-core read-only domain controllers at that location, we only have four Global Catalog cores. An additional Global Catalog server with a minimum of two processors is needed, or one of the read-only DCs should be reconfigured as a Global Catalog Server.
Now, this is not an absolute requirement, Exchange installation will not go out and perform this count as part of the prerequisite checks, but it's strongly recommended to make sure that you have access and the horsepower in Active Directory to support an Exchange organization. In a large company with multiple Active Directory domains in one Exchange organization, you're going to want to place Global Catalog servers for each domain served by Exchange close by.
Often, large organizations will create a new Active Directory site just for the Exchange servers and their supporting Global Catalog servers and they'll place this Active Directory site inside a centrally-located data center. Planning your Active Directory topology before installing Exchange is important. Changing this core configuration is not an easy thing to do, and it's never recommended. You should consider the Active Directory design and careful placement of your Exchange servers as a prerequisite to running any of the setup steps on your first Exchange Server.
- Planning and configuring Active Directory (AD)
- Creating and configuring mailboxes
- Delegating mailboxes
- Mailbox and mailbox folder permissions
- Mail-enabled users
- Send as versus Send on Behalf
- Using public folders
- Managing public folder permissions
- RBAC versus AD split permissions
- Configuring user assignment policies
- Protecting Exchange content
- Message signing and encryption
- Troubleshooting IRM failure