A group of well-connected computers.


While a domain is a logical grouping of computers connected for administrative purposes, a site is a physical grouping of computers that are well connected to each other from the point of view of network bandwidth. Specifically, a site must consist of computers that:

  • Run the TCP/IP protocol and are located on one or more subnets (TCP/IP is necessary to operation of Active Directory)

  • Are joined by a high-speed network connection (typically, a LAN connection of 10 Mbps or greater with a high available bandwidth, but in some cases slower dedicated WAN connections)

Sites are created within Active Directory to mirror the physical layout of a large network. Sites consist of one or more subnets and should mirror the physical connectivity of your network. Computers joined by LAN connections typically form a site, while slower WAN connections form the boundaries between different sites. You thus might have a Vancouver site, a Seattle site, and so on within your enterprise.


Sites and domains do not need to correspond in a one-to-one fashion. For example, one domain may contain several sites, or one site may contain several domains.

Site Terminology

There are several terms that need to be understood when working with sites in Windows 2000:

Site link

A connection between two sites. A site link is defined by four components:


This is a number used to determine which site link will be preferred for replication when two sites are ...

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