Welcome to Certifiable, your exam prep headquarters. Here you'll find questions about some of the tricky areas that are fair game for the certification exams. Following the questions, you'll find the correct answers and explanatory text. We change the questions biweekly.

Test Questions (October 13, 2000)
Test Answers (October 13, 2000)

Questions (October 13, 2000)
The following questions, which cover related concepts and have overlapping answers, provide a good example of how you can use information from one question to narrow the choices in another. If you don't know the answer to the first question below, for example, you should find information in question 2 that helps you with the answer to Question 1. Also, the information you find in Question 2 might help you answer Question 3 and vice versa. You can use similar tactics on many certification exams, vastly improving your chances of passing.

This week's questions will help prepare you for the exams that address designing and planning a network infrastructure. A critical task for MCSEs in the coming year will be to redesign existing Windows NT 4.0 domain structures so that users can find information about other users and network resources more easily. Windows 2000's Active Directory (AD) can hold a wealth of information, and the primary challenge for MCSEs will be to design networks so that users can search AD without overloading a network. As you answer these questions, start to think about how AD will affect your own network.

Question 1
What special designations does Active Directory (AD) give to domain controllers? (Choose 2.)

  1. PDC
  2. Global Catalog (GC) server
  3. Master Catalog server
  4. Operations Master

Question 2
What important functions does a Global Catalog (GC) server perform for users in Active Directory (AD)? (Choose 2.)

  1. A GC server lets a user search the entire forest to find directory information.
  2. A GC server maintains a list of the user's resources.
  3. A GC server enables the logon process by providing universal group membership information to the domain controller.
  4. A GC server helps users find services anywhere in the world.

Question 3
As the administrator for XYZ, Inc., what can you do to decrease the traffic that results from queries to the Global Catalog (GC) across sites? (Choose the best answer.)

  1. Limit GC searches to the local site.
  2. Create separate forests so that searches remain local.
  3. Create additional GC servers so that the GC is available locally.
  4. Create a local catalog so that searches don't cross WAN links.

Answers (October 13, 2000)

Answer to Question 1
The correct answer is B--GC server and D--Operations Master. Answer A is incorrect because instead of PDC and BDC servers, Windows 2000 uses domain controllers and member servers. Don't confuse the Windows NT domain PDC with the Win2K PDC Emulator Operations Master role. Answer C is incorrect because Win2K doesn't have a Master Catalog server. Don't confuse the GC server with the Master Browser. They are similar in concept, but very different in function.

An Operations Master is a domain controller that fills one or more of five special roles: Schema Master, Domain Naming Master, Relative Identifier (RID) Master, PDC Emulator, and Infrastructure Master. These roles require a single authority that controls the activity. Although the first domain controller is automatically assigned all the Operations Master roles, you can move one or more of these roles to other domain controllers to improve performance or fault tolerance. Be sure to learn which of these roles is unique in the forest and which is unique to a domain.

Answer to Question 2

The correct answer is A--a GC server lets a user search the entire forest to find directory information and C--a GC server enables the logon process by providing universal group membership to the domain controller.

Instead of PDC and BDC servers, Windows 2000 uses domain controllers and member servers. However, Win2K domain controllers do more than just manage domain objects. Win2K automatically creates a GC on the first domain controller in the forest. The GC server contains partial information about all objects in the AD and responds to queries from client users who are attempting to locate resources. By keeping information about the entire forest on the local server, the GC server fulfills its primary purpose, which is to decrease the intersite traffic that occurs when a user searches for resources.

This question is a good example of the strategy of using information in one question to answer another question. Question 2 asks about a GC server's function in the domain, and question 1 asks which designations a domain controller may have. At the very least, you know one that one correct answer in question 1 is B, and you can reasonably assume that C would be incorrect if B is correct. That should give you a 1 in 2 chance to pick the other correct answer. If you know Win2K doesn't use Windows NT's PDC-BDC architecture, you know that question 1's other correct answer must be D.

Answer to Question 3
The best answer is C--create additional GC servers so that the catalog is available locally. Although you can have only one Operations Master server, you can have more than one GC server. Active Directory (AD) shares information with all the GC servers in the forest; therefore, additional GC servers can improve the performance of resource searches. For remote sites, having a local GC server also decreases network utilization and improves search time.

To configure replication between sites, you need two additional objects: site link objects and site link bridge objects. Site link objects contain three values that you can use to configure replication: cost, interval, and schedule. Cost is an arbitrary value; interval defines how frequently replication occurs; schedule specifies when the site link is available for replication to occur. To create a site link in Active Directory Sites and Services Manager, you need a site name and you must link two or more sites. To configure the site, specify the replication protocol and set the cost, interval, and schedule values. To reduce traffic further between sites, you can create a separate GC server at each site so that queries don't cross slow network links. You create a GC server on the NTDS Settings tab under Sites in Active Directory Sites and Services Manager.

For this question, you can infer from what question 2's answers say about what a GC server does how you might be able to decrease network traffic by creating a local GC server. For question 2, you can infer from this question that because DOMAIN users search the GC, answer D is not correct and answer B is unlikely to be correct because a "global" catalog probably wouldn't hold only one user's information. That leaves A and C as the correct answers to question 2.

Remember, this test strategy works only if you have a good understanding of the concepts before you take the test. A good test-taking strategy never lets you pass an exam without proper preparation. This strategy simply helps you improve your chances on questions for which you aren't 100 percent sure of the answer.