Network Scenario Server 2003

I'm just looking for some advice. I am setting up a Windows 2003 server and am wondering if I need to configure it as the Primary Domain controller as opposed to just the DHCP server in a Workgroup.

I get the impression if it's the PDC there should also be another server is this assumption correct?

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  1. Hi,

    You are getting your terminology a little confused :wink:

    You can configure the server to be a Member server (i.e. not performing domain authentication) or as a Domain Controller (performs domain authentication functions).

    PDC is what the old NT4 servers use (Primary Domain Controller). The PDC held a masrter copy of all the users, passwords, domain groups .... and when people logged into the domain they would be authenticated byt the PDC. To spread the workload of a PDC you could install additional BDC (Backup Domain Controllers) which received copies of the security database from the PDC. You could only ever have one PDC per domain.

    Windows 2003 uses Active Directory and PDCs no longer exist. They are now simply called DCs (Domain Controllers). The DCs can perform allsorts of different functions (called FSMO roles), including the emulation of an old NT4 PDC.

    I would install a 2003 server as a Member server and just put it into a workgroup, unless you are looking to set up domain authentication.

    If you want to install a domain then I would recommend reading up on it first: click me !

    Good Luck !
  2. Thanks Hubbardt I appreciate your input. I've been using NT on system for ages and have a couple of 2000 servers. But this is the first 2003 server I've set up. Thank you very much for your input. I'm also having battles with Exchange Server 2003 but that's a different story!! Have you had much experience with Exchange Server 2003?

    I'll have a good look at that link!!!!!

    Thanks again,
  3. Hi,

    Unfortunately I know next to nil about Exchange :(
    If you have any more networking questions feel free to post them here. I've been involved in some pretty big Windows 2000/2003 rollouts and migrations so hopefully can answer some questions for you.

    Best wishes,
  4. Thanks again Hubbardt. What I'm doing is upgrading 2 existing networks. I'm using Intel SE7525GP2 Server boards with 2 Xeon CPU's in each. I'll be setting up a server in each of 2 offices. Office 1 and Office 2. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have to the way to configure these.

    Office 1 is the smaller of the 2 networks with 11 XP Pro workstations, Office 2 has 20 XP Pro workstations and will require VPN access to Office 1 at times. I was planning on simply using a VPN connection from one or two of the workstation within Office 2 to allow access to office one. I have ADSL at both offices. The ADSL at office one has 8 Public IP's but I'm planning on changing this to an ADSL plan with a single static IP address. Should both Servers be in a Domain or simply a workgroup.

    Any advice or tips you have would be appreciated. I've never set up this type of system before. I've been running NT4 and Server 2000 networks using E-Smith boxes Internet servers and firewalling the internal networks. I run mail servers on NT4 and also Q-Mail on the E-Smith boxes so I have a fairly solid knowledge base but am always keen to understand a bit more.

    Thanks for your time,
  5. Hi Pharkus,

    It really depends on what you want to achieve with your Windows 2003 servers. If you want to the benefits of logging into a domain (centralized management, security ...) then you will need to create a domain. Be aware that creating an active directory domain requires good knowledge of DNS as active directory needs it. You will also need the skills to maintain an active directory domain. It can be a steep learning curve, trust me ! :wink:

    If you want your servers to act as print servers, DHCP servers, File servers, Application servers (IIS, SQL, 3rd party) then stick to creating member servers in a workgroup. The downside of using a workgroup is that users will need to log on locally and resources (such as files, shares) will have to be permissioned very basic (guest and everyone). Basically you lose some of the flexibility active directory offers you.

    Do you envisage the number of users increasing dramatically ?
    You could decide to stick with a workgroup and install active directory at a later stage ... keep it simple and only complicate matters if you really need a domain login.

    As far as the VPN goes, do your ADLS routers support VPN ? Most of them do now and you can then VPN both offices to make them appear as if they are on the same network.

    Take a look at this article: VPN

  6. Hi again Hubbardt thanks again. That VPN link looks great. I've had a quick browse and there are a heap of points I'm looking forward to reading.

    I'd appreciate it if we could exchange e-mail, if that's OK with you. What is the etiquette for exchanging e-mail addresses here?

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