Active Directory Assessment Reduces WAN usage By Nearly 100%

DCMWORKS recently performed an Active Directory (AD) Assessment at a publishing company where the IT staff was too busy to determine why the network support staff reported excessive WAN utilization and there were constant complaints about slowness from users throughout the company.

After a scoping discussion with the IT staff, we suggested that a full AD assessment be performed to determine the source of the problem(s). The topology involved two sites connected via a WAN link which spanned 300 miles. The assessment included looking at WAN speeds, physical connections, Active Directory connectors, domain controllers, etc…

Among the findings from the AD assessment we determined that:

1. One site had a single domain controller running a Windows 2003 Datacenter Edition, and the other site where all the users were located was running two Windows 2003 Standard Edition domain controllers.

2. No configuration existed in Active Directory to account for subnets at each site, nor had separate sites been created in Active Directory Sites and Services.

3. All network interfaces for the WAN, LAN and the domain controllers were set up properly.

With this configuration, since Windows 2003 Datacenter Edition is considered a higher version, clients and their PCs used the Windows 2003 Datacenter Edition for authentication even though it was not the closest domain controller.

A site for each location was created in Active Directory Sites and Services and all VLANs were assigned to their appropriate site. Sites connectors were automatically created by Active Directory’s Site Topology Generation (STG) now that two sites existed.

The end result was WAN traffic was reduced by nearly 100% since all the users were actually in one site and only a couple systems were in the second site. And the major benefit from the users’ perspective was that logging in dropped from up to 5 seconds to almost instantaneous. Every time an authentication was needed the authentication was now processed by the closest domain controller.

Find out how a DCMWORKS Active Directory Assessment can improve efficiency and lower costs for your company or organization.