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How can I integrate a 2nd domain name to Active Directory and Exchange?

Posted on 2014-09-05
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Last Modified: 2014-09-10
So I have a client that has their active directory domain name (A-Example.com) for their organization. They acquired the new domain name (Z-Example.com) that they want to integrate into their existing AD infrastructure. They don't mind using  (A-Example.com) for a while as user login. They want to be able to receive e-mail with either (tom@A-Example.com or tom@Z-Example.com) domain but send e-mail with the new domain  (tom@Z-Example.com).

The reasoning behind this is because  A-Example.com used to be the company and the brand now the company wants to differentiate itself (as Z-Example.com) from the brand (A-Example.com) and maybe add other brands down the road.

What would be the easier and more cost effective way of achieving the objectives above.
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Question by:ekitech
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Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40307053
There is a big difference between an AD domain and an email domain. You cannot add additional domain names to AD. If the acquired company already has an AD domain, all you can do is create a trust and/or move accounts onto a single domain.

But for email purposes, exchange has long supported multiple domains. Adding an email domain is thoroughly documented on technet for each version of exchange, and the default send  domain address is also easily changeable. There is no correlation whatsoever between an email domain and an AD domain.

You also mentioned, in passing, logons. The namespace a user logs into is also customizable as an AD property and is also not inherently tied to the AD domain name, although the two are often the same by conventjon and convenience. Again, changing this is documented on TechNet.
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 40307778
As Cliff mentioned, adding the new domain to your e-mail server is well-documented, and relatively easy.

For the Windows domain, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 supports renaming an existing Active Directory domain, using the command "RenDom".  It's a relatively simple procedure, but I strongly recommend you read up on the details before making the change.

MS links:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794869(v=ws.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732097.aspx

Here are a few articles on the procedure:
http://mizitechinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/simple-guide-how-to-rename-domain-name-in-windows-server-2012/
http://www.vkernel.ro/blog/renaming-an-active-directory-domain

Dimarc67
Frederick, MD
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40307795
Rendom cannot be used in an exchange environment. As the question is asked, this is an exchange environment, making rendom not applicable.
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LVL 58

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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40307798
I should say exchange 2010/2013. There was a procedure for 2003/2007.
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Assisted Solution

by:Dimarc67
Dimarc67 earned 250 total points
ID: 40307801
While Exchange does not support renaming the domain, the (laborious) procedure of exporting all mailboxes, uninstalling Exchange, renaming the domain, and then reinstalling Exchange and re-importing the mailboxes is an accepted practice.

Many (possibly most) admins hold the opinion that it's easier to standup a new domain in parallel and use ADMT to migrate the users over.  However, either solution is viable.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ekitech
ID: 40314981
I needed to present options and you both gave me one.

Thanks,
E
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