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Active Directory Structure

Document your Active Directory site names and locations. Active Directory is the directory service for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 family of products. It stores information about objects on the network. An Active Directory site is defined as one or more well-connected TCP/IP subnets. A well-connected TCP/IP subnet has a fast, reliable network connection.

The logical structure of your organization is represented by the following Active Directory components:

  • Organizational units

  • Domains

  • Trees

  • Forests

The physical structure of your organization is represented by the following Active Directory components:

  • Active Directory sites (physical subnets)

  • Domain controllers

When planning your SMS hierarchy design, consider your Active Directory logical layout (hierarchical forest arrangement and domain structure), and its physical structure (Active Directory site topology). Later, when planning your SMS deployment and configuration, become familiar with the more granular details of the logical structure, such as organizational units, because these can help determine how you organize collections, distribute software, and perform queries in SMS.

Document your physical Active Directory structure and domain structure before you begin the planning phase. You might also include a diagram similar to that in Figure 7.3 if your environment includes mixed-mode domains.

Figure 7.3 Sample Active Directory structure depicting domain modes and operating systems

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