Active Director Management and Operations Specification for 70-282 exam [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Yo – its harrybbb here, publisher for the above title, and I like to hold a daily virtual book reading. Today’s passage to help you pass the 70-282 exam is about AD froma MOS viewpoint.

Active Directory Management and Operations

A well-designed Active Directory logical structure facilitates the efficient integration of features such as Group Policy, enabling desktop lockdown, software distribution, and user, group, computer, and server administration, into your system. We will cover more on this in Chapters 8, 9 and 10, providing more information on administering Active Directory Services on Windows Server 2003. Part of administering Active Directory includes working with applications (resources) like Exchange Server and SQL.

So why are we putting such an emphasis on the difference between logical and physical structures? Let’s do the 10,000 foot level overview to give you a glimpse of what is so cool about Active Directory.

Figure 4 .2

The Widget Company logical layout

Figure 4.2 depicts the logical layout of the Widget Company which has offices in Boston, Toronto and Miami. Toronto is the home office, with control over its Research and Development (R&D), Sales and HR divisions. This company grew organically. When additional offices in Boston and Miami were opened, it was decided it would be better to handle sales and Human Resources locally. In this case, the Active Directory structure allowed the company to manage administration basically following the company functional chart. Boston has a Sales and Human Resources OU which it manages locally, and so does Miami. Lo and behold, the Widget company, due to its poor management, is soon bought up by the Uber-widget Company, which has a totally different organizational/ functional layout. But, since the resources (employees, workstations, servers) are already in place at the old Widget Company, and the Uber-widget Company wants to keep these offices where they are for strategic reasons, the Uber-widget Company absorbs the Widget Company as is. Since the Widget Company is running on Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory, it just joins it to Uber­widget Company’s forest and redesigns its logical structure!

Figure 4-3

The Uber-Widget Active Directory Forest

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



Now the Uber-widget Company, despite having its HQ overseas, is managing its subsidiaries through an Active Directory Domain Forest. (See Figure 4-3) The Uber-widget Company now is sure to apply its company policy across all domains, including the UK Widgets, India Widgets and North America Widgets companies. The offices in Boston, Miami and Toronto are still there, but no longer autonomous. The Sales, R&D and HR OUs ensure that there is consistent application of company policy throughout the three different sites. Since this is a logical structure, it can be virtually managed from anywhere. The domain admin could be living in Hawaii (fat chance of that) and guarantee that everyone has the same desktop environment regardless of which city or department users sign on from.

This is a very basic example showing you the flexibility of being able to manage by logical structure. Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace; think about the nightmare larger companies would have to endure if they had to re-deploy their entire infrastructure because the organizational chart changed! With Active Directory you can rename domains (one thing you cannot do in SB S), move users and groups logically to where they belong on the functional chart, and manage by group policy, so you’re able to deploy software and enforce consistency across the entire domain.




Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

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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