All 5 Operation Master Roles on the Same Domain Controller?

olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
Forgive me if I am understanding this wrong, I am only a few months into studying AD.

Lets say you have simple 1 Forest, 1 Tree, 1 Domain setup.
On your domain you have 10 Domain Controllers.
Is it a big deal to have all the Operation Master Roles on single DC?

Doing a quick search this seems to not be a big deal anymore. Everything I find on it concerns only Server 2003 networks and older.
Thanks for any help?
Just trying to gauge its importance.


  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It's easier for me to link to WikiPedia than it is to write it all out! lol It's still relevant, not just for 2003...
    WikiPedia wrote:
    By default AD assigns all operations master roles to the first DC created in a forest. If new domains are created in the forest, the first DC in a new domain holds all of the domain-wide FSMO roles. This is not a satisfactory position. Microsoft recommends the careful division of FSMO roles, with standby DCs ready to take over each role. When a FSMO role is transferred to a different DC, the original FSMO holder and the new FSMO holder communicate to ensure no data is lost during the transfer. If the original FSMO holder experienced an unrecoverable failure, you can force another DC to seize the lost roles; however, there is a risk of data loss because of the lack of communications. If you seize a FSMO role instead of transferring the role, that domain controller can never be allowed to host that FSMO role again, except for the PDC emulator Master operation and the Infrastructure Master Operation. Corruption can occur within Active Directory. FSMO roles can be easily moved between DCs using the AD snap-ins to the MMC or using ntdsutil which is a command line based tool.

    Certain FSMO roles depend on the DC being a Global Catalog (GC) server as well. For example, the Infrastructure Master role must not be housed on a domain controller which also houses a copy of the global catalog in a multi-domain forest (unless all domain controllers in the domain are also global catalog servers), while the Domain Naming Master role should be housed on a DC which is also a GC. When a Forest is initially created, the first Domain Controller is a Global Catalog server by default. The Global Catalog provides several functions. The GC stores object data information, manages queries of these data objects and their attributes as well as provides data to allow network logon.

    The PDC emulator and the RID master should be on the same DC, if possible. The Schema Master and Domain Naming Master should also be on the same DC. To provide fault tolerance, there should be at least 2 domain controllers available within each domain of the Forest. Furthermore, the Infrastructure Master role holder should not also be a Global Catalog Server, as the combination of these two roles on the same host will cause unexpected (and potentially damaging) behaviour in a multi-domain environment.

    Phantoms, tombstones and the infrastructure master
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Good summary. Technically, yes, you can do it and it's not a big deal. Having said that, why would you put all your eggs in one basket?
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