Networking

NetAdminChallenge: Patty's PDC/BDC proposal

Every so often, NetAdminChallenge poses a systems or network problem to give you a chance to test your admin savvy and troubleshooting skills. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses received and send two lucky winners a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office! Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
Paula’s Windows Professional problem
As you may recall, Paula is a network administrator at a large electrical utility. She supports a huge accounting and finance department that recently upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional. The department runs IBM 300 GLs with Pentium III processors at 550 MHz.

After the upgrade was complete, however, some of the PCs seemed to be having problems. The processor response time was much slower than it should have been, given the power of the machines being used. Paula thought scaling the processor would speed things up for her users. But before making such an expensive and time-consuming upgrade, she wanted to look at a few diagnostics to determine if scaling the processors was the way to go. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sure which of the available counters she needed to check and what values they should register in order to determine whether an additional processor would fix the problem.

What counter, and what value from that counter, does Paula need to obtain the answer to her question? Generally, you will have a problem if the processor is busy with any type of activity level of 90% or more over an extended period of time. The interrupts per second show how many requests are coming in, and the queue length should not be more than two for any long period of time.
Congratulations go to Will Nelson and Don Ngo, whose winning entries were randomly selected from all the correct submissions received.
Patty’s PDC/BDC proposal
Patty’s TCP/IP network is composed of three subnets. Subnet A contains a primary domain controller (PDC). Subnet B and Subnet C both have a backup domain controller (BDC). Each domain controller is the master browser of its subnet. WINS is not enabled on the network. Patty wants to ensure that each BDC can communicate with the PDC.

She has kicked around some ideas about what to do and has come up with these four proposals:

  1. Change the BDC directive to 0x1b in the registry of each BDC.
  2. Create an LMHOSTS file with an entry for the PDC on each BDC.
  3. Create a fourth subnet. Move all domain controllers to the new subnet.
  4. Create an LMHOSTS file with an entry for each of the BDCs on the PDC.

Which one of the above steps will enable the BDC to communicate with the PDC and why? Remember, the issue here is ensuring that the BDCs can resolve an IP address for the PDC. Because WINS is not installed, name resolution isn’t possible.

What proposal should Patty implement?
Pick the correct proposal and explain why you think it’s the correct one. Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, Sept. 25, 2000. We'll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to two individuals whose names we select randomly from all the correct answers received.
By submitting your answer, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your solution on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.If you'd like to share an opinion, please e-mail the editor or post a comment below.

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