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Our Windows 2003 Server web server (my responsibility) is in another city and talks to a database server on our LAN (the LAN is someone else's responsibility) via a VPN. The VPN is established via a hardware firewall on each end. When the LAN Domain Controllers do their broadcasts, would the remote web server get them?

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What broadcasts are you worried about? A vanilla DC with only AD DS and DNS installed won't do any more broadcasting than any other Windows server. – MDMarra Aug 3 '12 at 19:10
@Tim do you mean AD replication instead of broadcasts? – squillman Aug 3 '12 at 19:12
@squillman I thought that at first too, but it doesn't sound like there is a DC at his end. He's worried about traffic between the DCs and a web server. – MDMarra Aug 3 '12 at 19:14
@MDMarra, yeah I was asking so as to clarify how it all works if necessary. – squillman Aug 3 '12 at 19:18
@squillman, any kind of broadcasted traffic, sorry if my terminology misled. I am looking for ways to explain periodic 100% CPU consumption on the web server, which I've not seen ever before on that server (in about 5 years). – Tim Aug 6 '12 at 15:50
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Domain Controllers don't do any broadcasts that are unique to Active Directory. Just standard ARPing, the occasion NetBIOS, and whatnot. If the VPN at both sites spans a single broadcast domain, then broadcast traffic will traverse the link, unless the VPN endpoints are explicitly configured to drop broadcast traffic.

This TechNet article breaks down all of the AD-specific services that need ports to be open between clients and DCs. As you can see, none of these protocols, other than NetBIOS, are broadcast-based and NetBIOS traffic happens on all Windows-based machines unless you explicitly turn it off.

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Thanks for the link and the info. – Tim Aug 6 '12 at 15:51

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