Planning for Active Directory

When you plan for and deploy your enterprise-scale Active Directory, you are defining a significant part of the network infrastructure of your organization. In this plan, you create a set of structures that best reflects your organization. The structures you create will determine:

  • The availability and fault tolerance of the directory.

  • The network usage characteristics of directory clients and servers.

  • How efficiently you can manage the contents of the directory.

  • The way users view and interact with the directory.

  • The ability of your directory structures to evolve as your organization evolves.

Having a well thought-out Active Directory plan is essential to a cost-effective deployment. Investing time in the planning phase will help you avoid spending time and money in the future reworking structures that you have already put in place.

To create your directory structure plans, follow the sequence of planning steps as presented in this chapter. While you create your plans:

  • Learn the key Active Directory concepts that influence structure planning, and adjust the suggested planning steps as necessary to best suit your organization.

  • Identify the people in your organization who should participate in structure planning.

  • Understand how existing business practices might need to change or evolve to take full advantage of Active Directory.

  • Understand the flexibility of the structures you create, and realize which of your choices will be easy to change or hard to change in the future.

Figure 9.1 illustrates the primary steps for designing the Active Directory structure. This chapter will take a close look at each one of these steps.


Figure 9.1 Process for Designing an Active Directory Structure