Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

We have several servers running as Domain Controllers, "DC01", "DC02", and "DC03". For some reasons, we need to reboot them.

Is there a specific procedure to follow?

Additional info: "DC01" currently holds all FSMO roles. Should I transfer the roles to another DC before rebooting it?

More information: DC01 is Windows 2008 Enterprise. DC02 and DC03 are Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

No need to stagger reboots. Active Directory, being a multi-master system, can sustain any order of domain controller reboots.

As for safety and redundancy, it is nice to have roles spread across different DCs, so consider that for a future project. However, that won't be a consideration for reboots.

EDIT

To address the following comment:

I read somewhere that transferring FSMO Roles, although not necessary, might be a 'defensive move', just in case the server somehow failed to be back up. (Thus, reboot DC02 & DC03 first, transfer the role, then reboot DC01).

I think that it makes sense from a strictly theoretical point of view. A domain controller with all FSMO roles that goes sneakers up is a horrifying thing to endure. However, in practice, I see two problems:

  1. A server should not be thought of like a tumbler of nitro glycerine on the back of an epileptic lemur. If preparing to reboot your server causes dizziness, gives you a dry mouth, and otherwise makes you want to start abusing household cleaning products, then the solution is not to start moving FSMO roles, but rather to get your server into a state of health that makes you comfortable with rebooting it. Well managed servers are robust things that can be rebooted with impugnity.
  2. Moving FSMO roles, while as technically simple as a few mouse clicks in an MMC, isn't such a lighthearted thing that would cause one to play a rousing game of "FSMO, FSMO, who's got the FSMO!" for every Patch Tuesday (which coincidentally precedes "Career Change Wednesday").

In short, don't move FSMO roles except to practice good systems engineering tenets. Unless your server room is full of lemurs. In which case, hey... lemurs!

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for the explanation. Just before I saw your answer, I read somewhere that transferring FSMO Roles, although not necessary, might be a 'defensive move', just in case the server somehow failed to be back up. (Thus, reboot DC02 & DC03 first, transfer the role, then reboot DC01). What do you think? –  pepoluan Jun 18 '12 at 6:57
    
@pepoluan Updated my answer! –  Wesley Jun 18 '12 at 8:01
1  
LOL! Hahaha :D ... unfortunately, DC01 was a leftover from... um, waaaay back when, long before I joined my company (as you can see by its lone "ver" of 2008 without 'R2'). Hmmm... I think I'll just migrate FSMO roles for once and for all, and sometime in the future, zap DC01 and lay down its ghost to rest. Thanks for taking the time to answer! Marked :) –  pepoluan Jun 18 '12 at 13:37

Your Answer

 
discard

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.