Build-06 questions from FeedBack… Windows Server 2003 R2 Schema Extensions

It has been a while…. It has taken some time… but Bruce and I have waded through the feedback forms, evaluations and personal contact emails from the event.  You see – we weren’t lying, we do read each one of them.  In case we didn’t mention it earlier – THANK YOU for being great participants who wanted to  interact! Without that connection, the events wouldn’t be nearly as fun as they are to do.

As promised, we’ve got some questions that came up to the surface and we wanted to post them up here for all to see and benefit. Here’s the first one on the topic of Schema Extensions for implementing features of Windows Server 2003 R2.

The question came in from G.Morris from Edmonton:

I'm setting up 2 R2 servers now for testing. I'm just about to extend the AD schema to allow DFS to work properly. Are there any considerations I need to think of beforehand? I've installed 2 test R2 boxes, one in the central office and one at a branch. They're doing nothing else. The 2 AD servers we have are running 2003 but not R2. I don't want to impact the rest of the network with my testing.

This one is easy.  Schema extensions is something that you don’t want to take lightly, since they will create network traffic as they are propagated throughout your forest to all your DCs in your domain(s). You must have the correct credentials and your Schema Master must be online and able to be written to.  I’ve dug up a simple reference document on the TechNet site on Server 2003 R2 schema extension requirements and procedures.  Expand the document tree and take a look at the one pager on new Active Directory Schema Requirements and Extending the schema.

It is good to note that schema extension is required for DFS replication using the new Remote Differential Compression, Print manager console publishing of printers to GPOs as well as Identity Management for Unix.

It is also good to note that you can use these features if you DCs are 2000 or 2003 – with the exception of identity management for Unix.  It requires the software to be installed on an R2 DC, which would extend the schema during the DCPROMO process.

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