New in Windows Server 2003 - Domain rename

In the previous version of Active Directory that was introduced with

Windows 2000 Server, it was not inherently easy to rename a domain.

However, with the new version of AD that is included in the release of

Windows Server 2003, you now have the ability to rename domains in an

Active Directory forest after the forest structure is in place.

Since all child domains and trees within an existing forest derive their

distinguished names and DNS names from the forest root domain, having

the ability to change a domain name after the AD design has been

deployed gives administrators more flexibility in their design

decisions. In the past, you were almost stuck with your initial design,

even if you organization's structure or administrative requirements

changed shortly after implementation. Having the flexibility to change a

domain name is a great feature.

The utility that makes all of this possible is rendom.exe. This is the

command-line utility for renaming domains in Windows Server 2003 forests

and can be found on Microsoft's web site at the link listed below. This

new utility supports changing the Domain Name System (DNS) and/or

NetBIOS names of existing domains in a forest, keeping the resulting

forest still "well formed."

There are still a few caveats to renaming a Windows 2003 AD Domain. For

example, you cannot:

1. Change which domain is the forest root domain.

2. Drop or add a domain from the existing forest. NOTE: The number of

domains in the forest before the rename/restructure operation must equal

the number of domains in the forest after the rename/restructure

operation.

3. Rename a domain with the same name that another domain gave up during

a single forest rename/restructure operation. If this is your goal, it

would require two distinct rename/restructure operations.

To find out more about domain rename and the rendom.exe utility, check

out the following link on Microsoft's website:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/downloads/domainrename.mspx

Next week I will continue my discussion on the new features in Windows

Server 2003.

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