Data Centers

Use Windows Server 2003's netdom to see which servers are running roles

You may already be familiar with the five single-instance roles in Windows servers, but how do you know which server hosts which role? Scott Lowe reveals how you can use a single Windows Server 2003 command to determine their server locations.

Active Directory is an entirely different beast than Windows NT. Back in the Windows NT days, primary domain controllers (PDCs) and backup domain controllers (BDCs) were not equal, and your PDC could be a single point of failure. Active Directory has made domain operations more resilient by flattening the domain hierarchy, making all domain controllers equal. However, that equality only goes so far.

There are still a number of single-instance roles installed on various domain controllers throughout your organization that can result in a single point of failure. In a previous article in which I described Active Directory's Flexible Single Master Operations roles, I showed GUI-based ways to determine on which servers these roles are running. You can accomplish the same goal using a single command line command that consists of just three words, executed from a domain controller: netdom query fsmo.

The netdom utility is included as a part of the Windows Server 2003 Support Tools.

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