Application Data Partitions

Domain controllers since Windows 2000 partition the Active Directory database into several segments. Prior to Windows Server 2003 we had the schema data partition (used to store the definition of the schema used in the forest), the configuration data partition (used to store infrastructure topology, information about forest domains, and replication), and finally, the domain data partition (used to store actual objects stored in the domain). Beginning with Windows Server 2003, application data partitions can be used to replicate application-specific information between designated domain controllers. In Chapter 2, DNS was used as an example to show how application partitions come in handy.

The application data partition can contain all types of objects except security principal objects (users, groups, computers). Data contained in the application partition does not replicate to all domain controllers—only those selected by on the


Active Directory domains, trees, and forests

San Francisco Site qa.flexecom.local

San Francisco Site qa.flexecom.local

Toronto Site


Toronto Site

Active Directory Forest

^dev.flexecom.local flexecom.local domain tree administrators. Also, this data is not replicated to the global catalog. Application partitions can be assigned to any domain controllers anywhere in the forest; they do not necessarily have to be in the same domain. This is different from the domain data partition, which automatically replicates itself to all domain controllers within one domain. Application partitions serve as yet another vehicle to contain replication traffic, delivering application-specific information to only those locations that need this information.

It is technically possible to have application partitions and global catalog information on the same domain controller. However, global catalog requests directed to a domain controller running in this configuration will never return application partition data, even though both services are located on the same server. This is by design.

Application data partitions, like domain partitions, are part of the same forest namespace; they observe the same naming conventions. There are three possible ways to add application data partitions to your namespace:

■ As a child of a domain partition

■ As a child of an application partition

Windows Server 2008 features several tools and mechanisms that allow manipulation of application data partitions (this list is not exhaustive):

■ Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI)

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  • gioacchina
    Where is application data in server 2008?
    9 years ago
    How to access application partition in active directory?
    5 months ago
  • Maik Feierabend
    How to speed up replication for application partitions?
    3 months ago

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