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Where is global catalog stored? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi everyone, I can't seem to find article which state where is the AD global catalog contents stored inside a DC. Held in some files, in memory only, or inside the domain/application partition of the AD database?

    Sorry, it more to kill my curiosity than an issue to resolve.

    Regards.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 3:55 AM

Answers

  • Hi Whackywakie,

    I am glad that my advice is helpful. Please mark it as an answer to help other community members quickly find useful responses.

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    • Marked as answer by WhackyWakie Wednesday, December 5, 2018 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:55 AM

All replies

  • This one might help.

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/servergeeks/2014/10/14/active-directory-files-and-their-functions/

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 4:36 AM
  • Hi Whackywakie,

    Thanks for posting here.

    I think it is in domain partition.

    A global catalog server is a domain controller that, in addition to its full, writable domain directory partition replica, also stores a partial, read-only replica of all other domain directory partitions in the forest.  The GC will by default only store the most common of those attributes that would be used in search operations (such as a users first and last names, or login name, for example). The partial attributes that it has for that object would be enough to allow a search for that object to be able to locate the full replica of the object in active directory. This allows searches done against a local GC, and reduces network traffic over the WAN in an attempt to locate objects somewhere else in the network.


    For your reference:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/pt-pt/previous-versions/windows/server/cc737410(v=ws.10)

    Best regards,


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 5:44 AM
  • Thanks Dave! I actually read that before posting the question. What throw me off is my understanding of the domain partition should only store its own domain info. But with the post below, I believe I got it. Please see reply below.
    • Edited by WhackyWakie Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:43 AM
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:40 AM
  • Thanks Cora, from the diagram I got it. From other article I always believe there is only one domain partition in the NTDS.dit, since there is only one and hence it can only host it own domain info, then where is the other domains index.

    Now I understand that when the DC is configured as a GC, there will be additional domain partition(s) created. This is the missing part... other part I'm aware. Thanks!


    • Edited by WhackyWakie Wednesday, December 5, 2018 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:50 AM
  • Hi Whackywakie,

    I am glad that my advice is helpful. Please mark it as an answer to help other community members quickly find useful responses.

    If you have other questions, please feel free to reply.

    Best regards,


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by WhackyWakie Wednesday, December 5, 2018 3:47 AM
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 6:55 AM
  • All partitions (including the partial replicas for a Global Catalog) are saved in the same physical file, ntds.dit. There are two copies of this file. The file is documented here:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-2000-server/cc961761(v=technet.10)


    Richard Mueller - MVP Enterprise Mobility (Identity and Access)

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 4:00 PM
  • Thanks Richard for the info. If I get it correctly, the other copy of the ntds.dit (12MB) is just a base/blank copy which get copied into the actual folder location when server is promoted to a DC. If so, I think maybe it should have being placed in another folder...
    Wednesday, December 5, 2018 5:20 AM