Using Sites in Windows 2000 - Page 2

 By Brien M. Posey
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So far, the model I've given you for creating sites has applied to multi-facility networks. For example, you might use this site model when most of a company's employees reside in an office building, but the network also needs to be linked to a warehouse across town. However, it sometimes makes sense to use multiple sites in one physical location. A good rule of thumb to follow is that each subnet that contains at least one domain controller should be its own site. In fact, you can actually associate individual subnets with sites within the Active Directory.

Remember that if you do decide to use a separate site for each subnet, you should plan carefully how often those sites will replicate with each other. For example, suppose that some of the users in subnet A frequently use some of the network resources found in subnet B. If replication doesn't occur frequently enough, users in subnet A might not be able to see changes made to their resources in B until several hours after the change has occurred. A guideline to follow is connection speed. Basically, if the sites are on different subnets, but those subnets are connected by low-cost, high-speed links, then there's little reason not to replicate the sites more often than you would if they were separated by a slow wide-area connection.

Creating a Site

Creating a site within Windows 2000 is a relatively simple process. First, click Start and select Programs|Administrative Tools|Active Directory Sites And Services. When you do, you'll see the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in for Microsoft Management Console. In the column to the left, right-click on the Sites folder and select New Site from the context menu. At this point, you'll see the New Object Site dialog box. Enter the name of the site you want to create in the Name field. You should also select the site link object that you want to use for the site from the bottom portion of the dialog box. Usually, if you're establishing your first site, the only available link name will be DEFAULTSITELINK. The default site link is automatically set up to use the IP protocol.

When you install the first domain controller in a site, Windows 2000 will automatically create a site with the name Default-First- Site-Name. If you're planning to use multiple sites in your enterprise, you should definitely change this name to something more fitting to your organizational naming scheme. Even if you don't currently plan to create other sites, it isn't a bad idea to give the default site a custom name just to make your Active Directory structure a little easier to follow. Besides, you never know when you may have to create a second site.

If you do decide to rename the default site (or any other site, for that matter), go back into the Active Directory Sites and Services snap-in. In the column on the left, navigate to Active Directory Sites and Services|Sites. When you select the Sites folder, the column on the right will display all the existing sites. Right- click on the site you want to rename and select Rename from the context menu.

This article was originally published on Oct 8, 2000
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