Domain Consolidation Considerations

Posted on 2004-11-02
Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I'm a new and the only systems administrator at a small company in Vermont.  The last systems adminstrator developed an overly complex setup here that I'm trying to simplify.  We only have 5 servers (4 in main location and 1 remote) and they set it up with 2 domains.  I want to consolidate this down to one domain.  I'm in the planning phase right now and would like some input on what things I should take into consideration to complete this simplification.  
We have Win2k3, Win2k and WinNT servers.  Domain A has the bulk of our services (Remote access, Exchange2k3, and file services)There are 4 servers in that domain with 2 being Win2k3, 1 Win2k and 1 WinNT.  I will be taking the final NT server off-line first, it doesn't serve much of a purpose only serving up our remote access which I think can easily be handled by the current file server.  Domain B has our most important server running SQL and also working as a print server and yes Domain B is comprised completely of this one very important Win2k server.  There are literally no other computer accounts in this domain.  I need to dispose of the the active directory in Domain B and then bring that server up in Domain A's directory.    
I hope I'm explaining enough here.  Like I said I'm a rookie.  Any and all inputs would be appreciated.  
Question by:systemsadministrator
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    I think you have the right idea.  The KISS method is simplest.  Taking out the NT server and moving your remote access is highly recommended.  

    Things you will need to consider.
    -Users on Domain B will now need logons on Domain A
    -User directories and files will need the appropriate permissions of the user accounts on Domain A, once the server joins the new domain.
    -SQL and or other applications may break.  Determine what services are using accounts on DomainB's domain controller and be prepared to reconfigure them to use accounts on DomainA.
    -If you are using different IP ranges on A and B, you will have to change those if they exist in the same network segment.
    -You may need to reeducate users, change shortcuts or reconfigure applications to the new server in DomainA, depending how connectivity was established previously.
    -Take a good, full backup of the box before you do anything.  In case of disaster, you'll want the safety net of being able to go back.

    I took a 5 domain company with 7 ip schemes and put it all under 1 AD unbrella.  The single domain is much easier to manage and it worked great for me.   You'll get through it fine and gain some valuable experience in the effort.


    Author Comment

    Sorry about giving you only a B.  I guess I should have THOROUGHLY read all the guideline to this site.  Instead of giving a "B" I should have ask for some clarification or expanded on my question.  Sorry, it won't happen again.

    The continuation of my question is as follows:

    As of right now any workstation in the company can log on to either Domain A or B.  If I scrap Domain B and it's still an option on the login screen my users will get confused.  How do I ensure that on every workstation the option to login to Domain B is removed?  
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    For all those users, drop them to a workgroup and then joing the new domain.  The old one won't show up as an option any longer.

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