Part I Planning an Active Directory Deployment in Visual Studio .NET

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Part I Planning an Active Directory Deployment
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The Active Directory Domain Hierarchy
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In the previous section, you read about the DNS hierarchy, which consists of domains that can be resolved. DNS is built from the Internet root level up and can represent virtually an unlimited number of hosts on the Internet. Now, you can turn your attention to the Active Directory domain hierarchy, which for all practical purposes is exactly the same. The Active Directory hierarchy, or namespace, begins with a root domain, which is actually the domain forest root for your entire enterprise. This root domain is a Windows 2000 domain of users, computers, and resources. From this single root domain, all other Windows 2000 domains can be created. Because the Active Directory uses DNS for its namespace design, the root domain serves as the building block for all other domains. Consider this example. Triton, Inc. (a fictitious company I m using as an example throughout the book) wants to install the Active Directory. They will have one major Windows 2000 domain and two child domains one for production and one for development.
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I m keeping our domain discussion at a minimum here because the Active Directory domain hierarchy is addressed in detail in 3.
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Triton, Inc., decides to create a root domain using their company name. The root domain name becomes triton.com. From this root domain, the company decides to create two child domains, having names of production.triton.com and development. triton.com, as you can see in Figure 2-2. From this hierarchical structure, a contiguous namespace is created an area in which all domains and computers within the domain can be resolved. Obviously, other child domains can be created from the root, or they can be created from existing child domains. For example, at any time, the company could add a domain from the root, such as europe.triton.com, or they could create a child of a child, such as europe.production.triton.com. In any case, the namespace created is contiguous, and it is resolvable.
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There are all kinds of domain configuration options, problems, and perils, and all of those are explored in 3.
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Designing the Root Domain
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Before you ever sit down at a computer and begin the Active Directory installation, I strongly suggest that you sit down with a pencil and some paper and first design your Active Directory namespace, including your root domain name and all other domains. The remainder of this chapter focuses on the root domain name and several potential options and problems.
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2 The Active Directory Namespace
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Triton.com
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production.triton.com Figure 2-2: Active Directory namespace
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development.triton.com
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Permanent considerations with the root domain
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Why do I spend an entire chapter essentially focusing on the root domain name After all, at first glance creating your root domain name does not appear that difficult. There are two major reasons for spending a considerable amount of time discussing and planning your root domain name: The Active Directory is not all forgiving with the root domain name. Once you install the Active Directory and assign a root domain name, you re stuck with it. You cannot change the root domain name without reinstalling the Active Directory. Things are never as simple as they appear. You have several things to think about before ever determining your root domain name. After all, what if your company name changes, or what if your company acquires another company There are a number of possible issues.
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Part I Planning an Active Directory Deployment
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It is very important that the root domain name is carefully planned and analyzed. The root domain affects all other names in your Active Directory forest, and it cannot be changed without starting completely over.
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So with that in mind, you can begin to think about the Active Directory root domain. When you create your Active Directory root domain name, it is a permanent name that is used to generate all other DNS names in your Active Directory implementation. Think of this name as the root all other names must come from the root. Consequently, you want your root domain to be something meaningful. In most cases, the domain root name will simply be the name of the company or organization. For example, Triton, Inc., has a single company name, so it makes sense for this company to use triton.com as their root domain name. All other names in their enterprise will be derived from this root. For that reason, your root domain name should be something meaningful and recognizable. After all, the purpose of DNS is to enable use of friendly names instead of IP addresses. Once again this sounds very easy, but what do you do if your company s or organization s name isn t quite so simple For example, suppose you have two companies that merge together, but each retains their own name. You want one Active Directory implementation (one forest) for the two companies. There can be only one root domain name, so what do you do You obviously have to make some choices. You can use one of the company names, combine both names, or try to figure out an alternative name to represent the company as a whole. This brings up the next point. Your root domain name should encompass your entire business or organization. This includes all offices, locations, child companies, subsidiaries, and so on. Think of your root domain name as an umbrella that must cover your entire enterprise. What name works best This is a decision you will have to make, but the root domain must cover the entire business enterprise. Consider an example of these two issues. Triton, Inc., purchases a company called Star Works. Triton, Inc., also has a number of subsidiary companies. When designing the Active Directory root domain, the company has to determine how to handle the different names used within the environment as a whole. After considering the subsidiary companies, management believes that triton.com encompasses the entire organization. The only problem is Star Works, which is a very recognizable name. The company thinks about combining the two names and using tritonstar.com, but this name doesn t accurately reflect their business. In the end, Triton, Inc., determines that triton.com is still the best root domain name. Later, they can create a child domain called starworks.triton.com if they so choose. So, you should strive to create a root domain that is friendly, recognizable, and encompasses your entire business now and into the future. Unfortunately, however, there are more considerations, options, and potential issues you should evaluate before making a permanent decision.
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