The Intersite Messaging Service has been around since Windows 2000 Server and it provides Domain Controllers with the ability to to communication to servers in other sites. However, the Intersite Messaging Service also provides services to many other Windows services including SMTP, LDAP, and Knowledge Consistency Checker (KCC).

Enables messages to be exchanged between computers running Windows Server sites. If this service is stopped, messages will not be exchanged, nor will site routing information be calculated for other services. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

The Intersite Messaging Service executable is IsmServ.exe and runs on port 1110.

Can The Intersite Messaging Service Be Disabled Safely?

intersite replication service explained

While you can disable without too much problem on small single site networks (i.e. 20 people working off of 1 on-prem server), it is not advisable because so many other things can use it.

If you see “Active Directory replication error -2146893022: The target principal name is incorrect” , you may have to start the Intersite Messaging Service and then restart the Knowledge Consistency Checker (KCC) service. Take a look at THIS MS ARTICLE if you see this problem.

We ran into a case in which our client’s previous IT support company had set old school mail POP3 service to run on 1110 (instead of the default 110) and there were all kinds of small problems. The client decided it was better to disable the Intersite Messaging Service, against our recommendation, and as long as they don’t have some software that was to run an LDAP query against their AD, or they don’t add an additional site in the future, this should work. Our problem was that their system is now fragile and easily broken.


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