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How are Sites defined in Active Directory

In Active Directory, a site is a logical grouping of network resources (such as domain controllers and client computers) that are physically located in the same geographic area and connected by a high-speed network. Sites are used to optimize the performance of Active Directory by replicating directory data between domain controllers that are located in the same site, rather than replicating data between domain controllers located in different sites.
To define a site in Active Directory, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Active Directory Sites and Services console. You can do this by going to
    Start -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Sites and Services.	
    
  2. In the console tree, expand the Sites container and then select the Subnets folder.
  3. Right-click the Subnets folder and select New Subnet.
  4. In the New Object - Subnet dialog box, enter the IP address and subnet mask for the subnet that you want to associate with the site.
  5. Select the site that you want to associate with the subnet and click OK.
  6. To create a new site, right-click the Sites container and select New Site.
  7. In the New Object - Site dialog box, enter a name for the site and select a site link that you want to use to replicate directory data between the site and other sites.
  8. Click OK to create the site.

In summary, defining a site in Active Directory involves creating a logical grouping of network resources that are located in the same geographic area and creating a subnet object to associate the site with a specific range of IP addresses. The site is then associated with a site link to enable replication of directory data between the site and other sites.

Active Directory Field Guide

Defining Sites in Active Directory

1) Here we see local computers in two states, California and Texas.

2) The slow wide area network (WAN) link connects the LANS together.

3) Because they are defined as separate sites(A for California, and B for Texas), we conserve bandwidth over the slow link.