Active Directory planning - trying to think ahead - forests, domains, trees
Posted on 2012-04-07
Need advice and guidance on how to go about planning and setting up Active Directory for a growing business with multiple locations. Here is the scenario:
We are a small but growing company with two main locations. Our main office already has an existing AD domain (let's call it alpha.local) running Server 2008 R2. We are also running Exchange 2010 at the main office. Our second office is new and at some point will become larger than our main office. We do not have any AD or Exchange currently at the second office, though we have hardware and software ready to set-up Server 2008 R2.
My main question is how should I plan for the AD domain/services and possibly Exchange in the second office, there will not be a VPN between the offices (due to costs and geography), plus the fact that at some point these two AD domains will need to be merged and a VPN put in place (if costs allow).
Information that is relevant:
Main office (AD domain 'alpha.local') uses Exchange and main email domain is '@alpha.com'
Second office (no AD domain), uses hosted IMAP emails with sub-domain of '@us.alpha.com'
Our aim is to allow management of Users/Computers/Resources at each office separately but with a view in the future to allow management of AD for the two offices from each site.
We also plan to move all employees using '@us.alpha.com' onto Exchange at some point either at the head office or possibly with an Exchange server in the second office.
Please ask any questions and I will provide information that will helpfully clarify.