Part I Planning an Active Directory Deployment in VS .NET

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Part I Planning an Active Directory Deployment
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Easier WAN Management Once you get Active Directory correctly set up, it manages its own replication topology. The Active Directory includes more internal services that help it manage and control its own processes, including replication. This feature keeps administrators out of such deathly details and enables software to take care of itself and replicate data between domain controllers and sites as needed. Aside from these major points, the Active Directory also brings order and management options to larger networks, which was a major pitfall with Windows NT networks. NT networks functioned well, especially if the network did not get too large. However, the NT architecture was flat in that there were not different levels of administration and security. The larger NT networks became, the more domains were needed, which increased network traffic, trust relationship issues between domains, and administrative headaches. The Active Directory solves this problem because it is built on a hierarchy where information can be managed at different levels.
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Active Directory Logical Structure
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To begin the exploration of the Active Directory, I want to take a look at its logical structure. In order to effectively plan, implement, and administer the Active Directory, this logical structure will need to become second nature. The Active Directory is built on the domain level. Before Windows 2000 was released, it was often rumored that domains were no longer going to be a part of Windows 2000. That is not all true, but domains have changed quite a bit because they can be bigger and do not have the restrictions found in NT domains. As a point of reference, a domain is a logical grouping of computers and users for both administrative and security purposes. In Windows NT, you found yourself working with and spending a lot of time troubleshooting domains. If you currently have an NT network of any size, you probably have quite a few domains. NT domains were so limited that they seemed to grow and multiply too rapidly, creating headaches and confusion for both users and administrators. The Windows 2000 Active Directory domain model is different. Windows 2000 Active Directory domains are organized into domain trees that exist in a forest. When you first install the Active Directory, you create the first domain in a new forest. That new domain becomes the root domain. If you choose to install additional domains, they are created from the forest root.
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You can create additional domain trees in a single forest. In other words, a forest can contain more than one domain tree. These issues are explored in detail in s 2 and 3.
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The Active Directory prefers a few domains (or even just one) with several Organizational Units (OUs). An OU is like a file folder it holds important information.
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1 Introduction to Active Directory Technology and Deployment Planning
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OUs are containers designed to hold all kinds of Active Directory resources, such as users, computers, printers, and even other OUs. The great thing about OUs is you can set security, administrative control, and even policies at the OU level. In fact, many existing NT networks that have several domains can now be replaced with one domain and several OUs. As I mentioned, an OU is designed to hold resources, such as users, computer accounts, printers, shared folders, and so on. These resources are called objects, and from this point on, I will refer to them as such. Figure 1-1 shows you a graphical representation of this model.
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Domain
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Domains hold organizational units, which contain Active Directory objects.
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Organizational Unit
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User Accounts
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Computer Accounts
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Printers
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Figure 1-1: Active Directory logical structure
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Each object that the Active Directory contains possesses attributes, shown in Figure 1-2. You can think of attributes as qualities of an object that help define it. For example, a user account has attributes such as user name, password, e-mail address, phone number, group memberships, and so on. These attributes define the object. Each object in the Active Directory contains predefined attributes.
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