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Overview of Designing the Active Directory Logical Structure

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Active Directory in Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; and Windows® Server 2003, Datacenter Edition enables organizations to create a scalable, secure, and manageable infrastructure for user and resource management and to support directory-enabled applications.

A well-designed Active Directory logical structure provides the following benefits:

  • Simplified management of Windows networks that contain large numbers of objects.

  • A consolidated domain structure and reduced administration costs.

  • The ability to delegate administrative control over resources as appropriate.

  • Reduced impact on network bandwidth.

  • Simplified resource sharing.

  • Optimal search performance.

  • Low total cost of ownership.

A well-designed Active Directory logical structure facilitates the efficient integration of features such as Group Policy, enabling desktop lockdown, software distribution, and user, group, workstation, and server administration, into your system. In addition, a carefully designed logical structure facilitates the integration of services such as Microsoft® Exchange 2000, public key infrastructure (PKI), and domain-based distributed file system (DFS).

If your organization is currently operating in a non-Microsoft operating system or Microsoft® Windows NT® version 4.0 operating system environment, designing an Active Directory logical structure before deploying Active Directory enables you to optimize your deployment process in order to best take advantage of Windows Server 2003 Active Directory features.

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