Active Directory Global Catalog Server

Focus: Global Catalog Server
  • Global catalog (GC) is a role handled by domain controllers in an Active directory model. 
  • The global catalog stores a full copy of all objects in the directory for its host domain and a partial copy of all objects for all other domains in the forest. 
  • ‘Partial copy’ refers to the set of attributes that are most used for searching every object in every domain.
  • All domain controllers can be promoted as a GC. 
  • GC helps in faster search of AD objects.  
  • The replicas that are replicated to the global catalog also include the access permissions for each object and attribute. 
  • If you are searching for an object that you do not have permission to access, you do not see the object in the list of search results. Users can find only objects to which they are allowed access.
  • Global catalog server clients depend on DNS to provide the IP address of global catalog servers. DNS is required to advertise global catalog servers for domain controller location.
  • By default, first DC of in a forest will be a global catalog server


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