Rolling out Active Directory in an NT 4 domain environment

By Dave Kearns, Network World |  Operating Systems

Are you putting off that upgrade to Windows 2000 because you dread having to design an Active Directory structure to be migrated to from your far-flung NT 4 domain structure?

Suppose you had an IT organization of 2,500 people worldwide, including full-time employees, contractors and interns, responsible for managing roughly 50,000 users, 100,000 desktops, and thousands of servers that span 450 sites in 62 countries. Suppose your internal network's physical topology was comprised of:

*More than 200 WAN circuits.

*Over 1,000 routers.

*More than 140 ATM switches.

*Over 900 LAN switches (100M bit/sec to servers, 10M bit/sec to desktops).

*In excess of 2,500 IP Subnets.

*More than 100,000 LAN ports.

If so, then you'd be Microsoft's Information Technology Group (ITG), and you'd have a monumental project on your hands. Fortunately (for you) ITG thoroughly documented their planning and deployment as they migrated from NT 4 domains to Windows 2000's Active Directory. And now they've made that documentation available to you.

"Windows 2000: Designing and Deploying Active Directory Service for the Microsoft Internal Corpnet" (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/showcase/w2kacdir.asp) is a fascinating paper outlining the choices and decisions needed to plan a successful rollout of Active Directory in an NT 4 domain environment. If you're moving from a different operating system (NetWare, Unix, etc.) to Win 2000 this won't be as valuable, but for NT 4 networks looking to migrate this makes excellent "how to" reading.

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