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Are there any Active Directory configurations supported, where forest contains no Global Catalog?

EDIT: Since it was a prevalent comment to the question, I will answer it here: I am working on a product and QA requested that it must work in environment with no GC is present at all. Hence the question: are there conceivably any environments which don't have one.

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Why should you want such a thing? – Massimo Oct 27 '09 at 15:24
Unless you've somehow created such a config, you are on to support, you are being told that they won't touch you with a 10 foot pole, and you want to prove them wrong... – Le Comte du Merde-fou Oct 27 '09 at 19:18
What is the QA scenario? Do they have a customer using ADAM? Or is your app running at a remote site that could be cut off from the GC? – duffbeer703 Oct 29 '09 at 3:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Active Directory Directory Services: No. You need at least one GC

Active Directory Application Mode: Yes (to my knowledge, you don't need a GC)

As Massimo asks; Why would you want such a thing?

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You need at least on GC, your first domain controller is setup by default as a Global Catalog server.

As many have said, I can't understand why you want to do this. If you have multiple domains in your forest, you really need a GC per domain for them to communicate effectively and if you only have 1 domain in your forest, then your GC really doesn't add much overhead.

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This is a bizarre request. According to the TechNet article on GCs, in a single-Domain environment the only absolute requirement for a GC seems (and I do say "seems") to be for GAL lookups in Exchange, but all the same I'm failing to understand why creating a GC could be something you would want to avoid.

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The GC is the system against which you actually authenticate. If you have no GCs you can't authenticate. Hit TechNet and you will see this pervasively throughout the documentation.

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afaik, GC does not authenticale, DC does – galets Oct 28 '09 at 22:48

In a single domain environment without Exchange you don't need a GC, even with multiple sites. GC has got nothing to do with locating domain controllers in this scenario.

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are you saying it is possible to set up functional environment where GC will not be running? – galets Nov 3 '09 at 15:44
Yes, in a single domain with no apps (such as Exchange) that require GC. – PowerApp101 Nov 19 '09 at 17:14

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