Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can I run small business server as a RODC? My site design is hub and spoke. I want to place a domain controller at the small offices. I am tight on budget so my offices will have one server which should function as domain controller and file server. Can I accomplish this with small business server?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'll add to that: if you're in a position where you need a RODC, you've outgrown the position where you need SBS.

share|improve this answer

You can put read-only domain controllers into branch offices as addt'l DC's in a domain with an SBS server, but the SBS server computer itself cannot run as an RDOC.

(You do realize that you can have one SBS server computer in an Active Directory forest-- right? You're not thinking of running each branch office as a separate Active Directory forest, are you? Ugh... That would be painful to administer.)

share|improve this answer
so I can't join a SBS to my current domain? – Saif Khan Jun 9 '09 at 23:35
There are things you can do to "migrate" a domain to SBS, but no, you can't just join an SBS machine to your existing domain. – Evan Anderson Jun 9 '09 at 23:44

The short answer is: no. SBS isn't what you want for this role. I'm not positive about SBS 2008, but SBS 2003 will shut down every hour if it is not the domain controller holding all FSMO roles for the domain.

Simply put, it's not designed to scale past the builtin limits. You get what you pay for!

share|improve this answer
ah ha. This is good to know. – Saif Khan Jun 10 '09 at 18:11

If you have offices, you will need at least Windows Server Standard.

SBS is a standalone server (the new premium version does give you a second server) it can not be joined to domain, it has to be the root and only domain in the forest.

share|improve this answer
You can have addt'l domain controllers, though. I wouldn't completely rule out SBS just because an enterprise has multiple locations. – Evan Anderson Jun 10 '09 at 2:21

You need to buy SBS Premium for your RODC's but you can do it.

At least according to this MS FAQ (Search the page for Domain Controller):

share|improve this answer
Wow, list price for SBS Premium is almost double that of SBS..... – Bob Jun 9 '09 at 23:42

Trying to clarify and condense what others have said:

  • SBS MUST be the FSMO master domain controller, therefore it CANNOT be an RODC.
  • You CAN have additional DCs and servers on the network - this is not a problem.
  • SBS is limited to 75 Clients.
  • You cannot have trusts with other domains.
  • Because SBS MUST be the FSMO master DC, you can only have SBS server per domain. So in your network, you CAN use SBS (assuming you have fewer than 75 clients) and separate Server 2008 Standard servers per location, even RODCs.

(Sorry for the late post, but I assume it's permissible - especially since I found a link to the question off another question).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.