Q

Can a single SMS site span multiple AD forests?

If I have an SMS site hierarchy that spans two forests with a transitive external trust between both and with the forest functional level set to Windows Server 2003 interim, can it exist in a single SMS site hierarchy provided that WINS is enabled and has the SLP record created? If so, do I need a separate SMS primary site in each forest?
A single SMS site cannot span multiple Active Directory forests, although it can span multiple domains within a single forest. All SMS site systems must be in the same Active Directory forest as the SMS site server. Be aware of limitations across forests and considerations in the following areas when you design your SMS hierarchy:
  • Communications within an SMS site
  • Site-to-site communications
  • Client communications
  • Secure key exchange
Communication between an SMS site server and its site systems is not supported across forests. Communications across forests work in SMS if the following conditions are met:
  • You are using the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family
  • The forest functional level is set to Windows Server 2003
  • SMS is running in advanced security mode
  • The forests are configured with a transitive trust

This was first published in July 2004

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