70-282 Exam: Designing an Active Directory implementation [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer excerpt]

Hiya – I am the publisher of the above title and I like to hold a daily virtual book reading by posting up a passage. This is all about passing the 70-282 exam – let’s rock!

Designing in Active Directory

Before we even start talking about designing scalable, secure and manageable infrastructure we need to establish that there are two types of structures in Active Directory:

·                                          Active Directory Logical Structure

·                    Physical Network Structure

Logical Structure

Active Directory uses domains and forests to represent the logical structure of the directory hierarchy. Forests represent the security boundary for Active Directory and domains are used to manage users, computers and network resources. Domains contain Organizational Units, helping subdivide administration. Each object in Active Directory stores not only its own name, but also the name of its superior container all the way up to the root container. This is referred to as a hierarchical naming system, where the objects in the tree seem to be nested inside other objects. The basic logical components of Active Directory are:

·          Organizational Unit – Provides the logical grouping of users, groups and computers and other objects in a domain which often mirrors the functional structure of the company.

·          Domain – One or more Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller (DC) containing users and groups that share a contiguous namespace and the Active Directory database for authen­tication and server resources.

Chapter 4Designing a Business Technology Solution for a
Small- or Medium-Sized Business



·          Domain Tree – One or more Active Directory domains that share a hierarchical Domain Name Space (DNS), i.e. europe.smbnation.com. (Could be the smbnation child domain in Europe. More on DNS in Chapter 9.)

·          Domain Forest – One or more Active Directory domain trees (a domain tree has its own DNS namespace) sharing the same Active Directory database.

The logical structure helps organize the directory objects, managing network accounts and shared resources.

Physical Structure

The physical structure serves to facilitate network communication and the setting of physical boundaries around network resources. Physical structures consist of:





·          Subnets – A network group with a specific IP range and subnet mask.

·          Sites – One or more subnets. Used to configure Active Directory access and replication.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (www.smbnation.com)

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!


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