Overview of Restructuring Active Directory Domains Within a Forest
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
The most efficient Active Directory design includes the smallest possible number of domains. By minimizing the number of domains running the Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition; Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; and Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Datacenter Edition operating systems, you can reduce administrative costs and increase the efficiency of your organization.
You might need to restructure domains within your forest if, for example, your organization closes a regional office location, and the regional domain for that location is no longer needed. You might also restructure domains within your forest if you upgrade your network infrastructure, thereby increasing your bandwidth capacity and your replication capacity and enabling you to reduce the size of your Active Directory logical structure.
The process of restructuring Active Directory domains within a forest is similar to the process of migrating accounts between domains. When you migrate accounts and resources between domains, you migrate objects from the source domain to the target domain without decommissioning the source domain. When you restructure Active Directory domains, you eliminate the source domain from the forest after you complete the migration of all domain objects.
Before you begin the process for restructuring Active Directory domains within a forest, ensure that the source and target domains are operating at the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 native or Windows Server 2003 domain functional level. Restructuring source domains that are operating at the Windows 2000 mixed domain functional level, which can include domain controllers that are running Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0, is not recommended.
After you complete the process for restructuring Active Directory domains within a forest, you can reduce overhead and simplify administration in your organization.
For a list of the job aids that are available to assist you in restructuring Active Directory domains within a forest, see "Additional Resources for Restructuring Active Directory Domains Within a Forest" later in this chapter.