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I realise that this is similar to "Should I have multiple domain administrator accounts?", however I have recently encountered a problem where NLB on Windows Server 2008 caused an error if the Administrator account was not used (or UAC was on).

Does this mean that the Administrator account is required for configuring server features and if so what is the best practice for administrator accounts under this circumstance? Or is this simply a bug in Windows Server 2008 NLB?

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2 Answers 2

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I would count it as a bug but there might be some debate - what's happening is that the NLB configuration process requires elevation at some stage but fails to do so in a way that triggers the elevation prompt. With UAC enabled if you use the built in Administrator account or if the systems are part of a domain then a Domain Administrator account automatic elevation gets triggered. Accounts that are "merely" members of the local Administrators group do not behave this way and this results in a number of problems like this (e.g. you cannot connect to a remote admin share on a W2K8 system with an account unless it is The local Administrator or a member of Domain Administrators).

This behavior can be changed by GPO - there are some details in this technet article (it's about Vista but it applies to W2K8 servers in domain too).

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Here's what I do:

  1. I create Domain Admin accounts for each Administrator (that needs one).
    1. This will be their user name appended with user.name.adm or something like that.
    2. I bind their email to a normal user account, the *.adm account is only for Domain Admin functions, not surfing the web
  2. For services that need Domain Admin access (like SCOM), I create seperate accounts and generate extremely complex passwords in keepass. Set it and forget it.

Does this mean that the Administrator account is required for configuring server features and if so what is the best practice for administrator accounts under this circumstance?

Most server features need to be configured as an Administrator, after joining a domain, Domain Administrator will be necessary when making Active Directory changes. MSNLB makes a few changes to AD and other services, but I can't remember where, most likely DNS but there may be other options set on individual containers in AD.

Also, if you've just set up MSNLB pay attention to your ARP requests on your network. MSNLB does not like to play nice with large Layer 2 networks and should be segmented into a separate network. If not it can cause some annoying network problems.

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