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Empty Root Domain - Windows 2008

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  • Empty Root Domain - Windows 2008

    Would you build a forest with a single domain or have an empty root domain and a single child domain for all resources?

    I am working on a global project and will be migrating multiple Exchange and AD instances into a single directory. I am currently creating the high level Active Directory design and I am trying to decide if I should have a single domain forest or if I should create an empty root domain and have a single child domain... ordinarily I would just create a single domain forest as there are no administrative, legal or business requirements for separate domains; however there is a definite requirement to accommodate future acquisitions of other companies which leads me to wonder if I should create an empty root domain?

    Do you think this would help make future acquisitions simpler? i.e. if my customer acquires another company I could create an additional, temporary, child domain and migrate the users in two steps... firstly migrate them into the new child domain in a semi-isolated manner then migrate them into the original domain and collapse the child domain...

    I’d be very interested in people’s opinions on this... and thanks in advance for your help...

  • #2
    Re: Empty Root Domain - Windows 2008

    Google Active Directory Isolation and Autonomy.

    If you can't come up with a business reason then you stick with a single domain forest. An empty root domain is only good for keeping administration of forest wide services isolated from other domain admins.

    If you acquire another company you can also add a new tree to the forest.


    • #3
      Re: Empty Root Domain - Windows 2008

      Thanks Garen...

      The only reason I can come up with for having the empty root domain is the possibility of mergers/acquisitions. This company grows by acquisition so it will definitely happen (they have acquired two companies whilst I have been working on this project). My concern is about the future possibility of having to add an additional tree to the forest and then it becomes hierarchical and untidy... I would prefer to have a single domain and use delegation to create administrative boundaries but I am trying to future proof the solution and this is giving me a headache...