Global Catalog Search Test

The global catalog is a distributed data repository that contains a searchable, partial representation of every object in every domain in a multidomain Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) forest. The global catalog is stored on domain controllers that have been designated as global catalog servers and is distributed through multimaster replication.

The Global Catalog enables searching for Active Directory objects in any domain in the forest without the need for subordinate referrals, and users can find objects of interest quickly without having to know what domain holds the object. The global catalog makes the directory structure within a forest transparent to users who perform a search. For example, if you search for all printers in a forest, a global catalog server processes the query in the global catalog and then returns the results. Without a global catalog server, this query would require a search of every domain in the forest.

This test reveals whether the server being monitored is a global catalog server or not. If it is, then the test attempts to search the global catalog server for a configured user and reports whether that user was found or not. The test also reports the time taken to search for that user. This information helps administrators assess how efficient the global catalog is in minimizing the time taken to locate a user across domains.

Target of the test : An Active Directory or Domain Controller on Windows

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every Active Directory site that is being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test period

This indicates how often should the test be executed.


The IP address of the machine where the Active Directory is installed.


The port number through which the Active Directory communicates. The default port number is 389.


Specify the name of the user who has to be searched in the global catalog.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Is it a global catalog server?

Indicates whether the monitored server is a global catalog server or not.


This measure reports the value True if the AD server being monitored is a global catalog server, and the value False if it is not.

If this measure reports the value False, the remaining measures of the test will not report any values.

Was user found?

Indicates whether the configured Username was found or not in the global catalog server.


This measure reports the value True if the configured Username was found in the global catalog server and the value False if the user name was not found.

Catalog search time

Indicates the time taken by the global catalog server to search and find the configured Username.


A high value for this measure would warrant an investigation.