Why you should not use yourdomain.local domain?

Microsoft recommended use of .local domain when Microsoft released Microsoft Small Business Server. Microsoft also understood that an SBS customer may not have in house expertise to manage Active Directory Domain and Exchange Server. Microsoft understood that SBS user will not have proper firewall. It is obvious that Exchange autodiscovery, single sign on for SharePoint and Lync Server was not in scenario at that time. So Microsoft recommended use of .local domain in Active Directory. Those who worked in SBS environment thought that they could take that concept now and implement .local domain in any organization which is a fundamental design flaw.

You have to understand  that .local domain was a past concept. Moving forward technology has changed a lot since then. You should change yourself when technology changes. But when I visit clients I see that old dog doesn’t learn new trick. Which means their autodiscovery doesn’t work. These clients end up with many issues including blaming Microsoft. You should ask yourself did you design your Active Directory and DNS correctly. Why you expect your autodiscovery to function correctly when your DNS is messy?

When you are promoting a new domain or a new forest, it is highly recommended that you use registered domain name for example yourdomain.com.au. Again those who worked in past SBS era they will raise concern of hacking, TLD etc. I would address their concern by putting the question to them, did you design and configure a correct firewall and security in your corporate infrastructure. If not then you should hire a security professional who will address your concern. Simply promoting a yourdomain.local domain will not secure your domain and you will have a false sense of security that your Active Directory is safe. In realty your corporate network might be open and vulnerable to hacking.

Here are why you should use yourdomain.com.au or registered domain in Active Directory.

  • To implement correct Exchange Autodiscovery
  • To discover correct registered domain for SharePoint and Lync Server
  • To implement single sign on
  • To install correct public certificates for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. Note that Public Certificate Authority no longer issue certificate using .local domain
  • To use correct UPN of your registered domain
  • To setup correct local and public DNS
  • To design correct Active Directory. You shouldn’t use SBS server as your model. Microsoft retired SBS for many reasons. Brutal truth is Microsoft didn’t want to lose poor customer who couldn’t afford an open license or software assurance so most of SBS users got OEM license through hardware vendor or a reseller.
  • To follow the guidelines of IANA and IEEE when you deal with a domain.

What should you do if you already have a .local domain in SBS server?

If your SBS server is 2008, then create an Active Directory DNS zone using registered domain example: yourdomain.com.au then add HOST (A) record with PTR of webmail or mail and autodiscovery in yourdomain.com.au zone. Create public DNS record for webmail.yourdomain.com.au and autodiscover.yourdomain.com.au.

http://www.yourdomain.com.au (example registered domain) doesn’t resolve after creating yourdomain.com.au?

This happened when http://www.yourdomain.com.au is hosted with third party web hoster not internally. There is an easy fix, create a DNS forwarder or conditional forward for your http://www.yourdomain.com.au. Follow this URL to configure a conditional forwarder. For example: you can forward http://www.yourdomain.com.au to Google DNS server or the DNS server of your ISP or your web hoster who is actually hosting http://www.yourdomain.com.au. To find out who is hosting your website and their DNS record, go to https://www.easywhois.com/ type yourdomain.com.au and hit enter.

Further Study:







Performing a Staged RODC Installation using the GUI


Staging an RODC allows an administrator to perform installation without travelling to the site. You can stage a RODC installation in four steps. Step1, Step2 and Step3 are performed in Head office by a member of domain admin where authoritative domain controller is located. Fourth step is performed in site office where site admin and RODC is located.


· RODC NetBIOS Name: DC4

· RODC Security Group: RODCAdmins

· Forest: Superplaneteers.com

Step1: Prepare Environment

· Install Operating System on RODC Server

· Activate Windows Server 2012

· Configure TCP/IP Properties of the Server

· Rename RODC Server to desired NetBIOS name (Example-DC4)

Step2: Add Site Admin into RODCAdmins Security Groups in AD

Open Active Directory Users and Computers, Right Click on desired OU, Click new, Click Group, Create a Security group named as RODCAdmins.


Add Site Admins into RODCAdmins group.

Step3: Create an RODC Computer Account

Open Active Directory users and Computers, Select Domain Controllers OU, Click on Action, Click Pre-create Read-only Domain Controller account


Click Next, On the Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, if you want to modify the default the Password Replication Policy (PRP), select Use advanced mode installation, and then click Next.


On the Network Credentials page, under Specify the account credentials to use to perform the installation, click My current logged on credentials, Click Next


On the Specify the Computer Name page, type the computer name of the server that will be the RODC.


On the Select a Site page, select a site from the list or select the option to install the domain controller in the site that corresponds to the IP address of the computer on which you are running the wizard, and then click Next.


On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, make the following select Domain Naming System (DNS), Global Catalog (GC), Read-only Domain Controller (RODC) and then click Next:


On the Delegation of RODC Installation and Administration page, type the name of the user or the group who will attach the server to the RODC account that you are creating. To search the directory for a specific user or group, click Set. In Select Users, Computers, or Groups, type the name of the user or group. When you are finished, click Next.


On the Summary page, review your selections. Click Back to change any selections, if necessary.


When you are sure that your selections are accurate, click Next to create the RODC account.


On the Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Finish.

Step4: Attach a server to an RODC account using Server Manager

This step is performed in the site office where the RODC is located. The server where you perform this procedure must not be domain member. In Windows Server 2012, you use the Add Roles Wizard in Server Manager to attach a server to an RODC account. Follow the procedure to promote a RODC at the branch office.

1. Log on to Server DC4 as local Administrator. In Server Manager, click Add roles and features. On the Before you begin page, click Next.

2. On the Select installation type page, click Role-based or feature-based installation and then click Next.

3. On the Select destination server page, click Select the local server from the server pool, click Next.

4. On the Select server roles page, click Active Directory Domain Services, click Add Features and then click Next.

5. On the Select features page, select any additional features that you want to install and click Next.

6. On the Active Directory Domain Services page, review the information and then click Next.

7. On the Confirm installation selections page, click Install.

8. On the Results page, verify Installation succeeded, and click Promote this server to a domain controller to start the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard.

9. On the Deployment Configuration page, click Add a domain controller to an existing domain, type the name of the domain superplaneteers.com and specify an account who is a member of RODCAdmins group that is delegated to manage and install the RODC, and then click Next.

10. On the Domain Controller Options page, click Use existing RODC account in this case DC4, type and confirm the Directory Services Restore Mode password, and then click Next.

11. On the Additional Options page, select the head office domain controller that you want to replicate the AD DS installation data from or if you have correct sites configured then allow the wizard to select any domain controller and then click Next.

12. On the Paths page, type the locations for the Active Directory database, log files, and SYSVOL folder, or accept default locations, and then click Next.

13. On the Review Options page, confirm your selections, click Next.

14. Once Prerequisites Check is successful then click Install.

15. To complete the AD DS installation, the server will restart automatically.

Windows Server 2012 Step by Step Book


This is my first book published on December 2 2012. The following is the chapters available in detailed in the book titled “Windows Server 2012 Step by Step” Chapter 1: Introduction to windows server 2012 Chapter 2: Installing and navigating … Continue reading