Introduction

A global catalog server is a domain controller that stores two forest-wide partitions, schema and configuration, a read/write copy of the partition from its own domain, and also a partial replica of all other domain partitions in the forest. These partial replicas contain a read-only subset of the information in each domain partition.

 

How does replication affect the global catalog server?

When a new domain is added to a forest, the information about the new domain is stored in the configuration partition, which is replicated to all domain controllers, including global catalog servers, through normal forest-wide replication. Then each global catalog server becomes a partial replica of the new domain by contacting a domain controller for that domain and obtaining the partial replica information. The configuration partition also contains a list of all global catalog servers in the forest and provides this information to the domain controllers. Global catalog servers register special DNS records in the DNS zone that correspond to the Forest Root domain. These records, which are registered only in the Forest Root DNS zone, help clients and servers locate global catalog servers throughout the forest.

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