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Design the New Active Directory Forest Structure

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

Evaluate the domain structure of your existing Active Directory forest, and then identify the domains that you want to restructure by consolidating them with other domains.

To design your new Active Directory forest structure, you must identify the source domain that you will migrate objects from and the target domains where you will place those objects. You must also evaluate the structure of the target domain.

Identify the Target and Source Domains

The source domain or domains are the domains that you want to migrate objects from and that you plan to decommission. When you restructure Active Directory domains, it is best to migrate the smallest possible number of objects. When you select source domains, identify the domains that have the fewest objects to migrate.

Evaluate the OU Structure of the Target Domain

Identify the organizational units (OUs) from the source domain that you need in the target domain, and then determine whether you need to create new OUs in the target domain.

You can migrate the OU structure when you migrate users, groups, or computers if you are using ADMT in command-line or scripting mode. The OUs are always copied between the domains and are not deleted in the source domain. To successfully migrate an OU, a source OU and a target OU must be specified in ADMT and the target OU must exist. All objects in the source OU and all sub-OUs are migrated. The specified source OU itself is not migrated. The migrated objects and sub-OUs are migrated to the target OU.

For more information about creating an OU structure, see "Designing the Active Directory Logical Structure" in this book.

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