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Forest trust, or move domain?

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi again Experts,

I need to integrate my domain with another. We have a single domain in our forest, and the other company have two domains in their forest. We will be remaining as two separate companies in two geographically separate locations.

In the short term we will be creating a forest trust, however I am considering moving our domain into their forest.

Could anyone advise on the benefits of moving our domain in to the other forest? I have heard that Exchange functionality is improved.
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Question by:failed
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Expert Comment

by:Lester_Clayton
ID: 36715944
You can't pick up and drop a domain from one location to another I'm afraid - you're going to have to actually migrate your domain into the target domain.   This means, migrating user accounts, data, e-mails and applications to the target domain.

Exchange functionality isn't "improved" per se, but it does mean that you will be part of one exchange organization, so mail sending and receiving is faster, and the ability to share calendears and meeting rooms is more accessible.  Also, you will get one address book rather than having to maintain two.
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Expert Comment

by:maxsmith5k
ID: 36716032
Even the "improved" functionality that Lester_Clayton speaks of maybe done with third party products.  In my opinion, i would avoid migrating your domain into their forest - lots of problems to try to avoid.  Instead, stick with federation and if you require more than federation offers, turn to a third party product such as Quest Collaboration Services (for functionality such as synchronization of GAL etc.
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Accepted Solution

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TheGeezer2010 earned 500 total points
ID: 36716083
The other alternative (if you are using Exchange 2010 on both sides and you don't HAVE to merge domains), is to set up a Federation Trust  - this will then allow both sides to share Free/Busy, and, alternatively, allow selected users, DGs etc to share contacts and calendars. You can also share same GAL using FIM (think that it what it is called now).
This is a good article explaining this avenue

http://www.tools4exchange.com/2010/07/galsync-and-federation-using-exchange-2010---part-iii---first-step.html

This is if you want to maintain co existence. If you want to merge the two forests, as stated above, the only supported Microsoft way is to migrate one forest to another. Here is an article showing the constraints of the method of such a merger ;-

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mergers_acquisitions_active_directory_prune_and_graft_restructuring_support_limitations%28WS.10%29.aspx

and here is the Microsoft article on how to go about this merger - please be aware that this is anything but trivial, and unless you have experienced and qualified Exchange architects in house, you may be better off bring in outside consultants to design this.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc974332%28WS.10%29.aspx

Good luck with whatever you decide to do !!

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by:failed
ID: 36892542
Thanks for all the advice!
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