Plans for Growth

The goal for most organizations is to make a profit and grow. Most companies do not put "reduction of size" in their mission statement. Their projections usually state that they are trying to obtain a certain amount of growth; a 10-percent increase in revenue over the same quarter from last year, a 15-percent increase in profits though the end of the year, and so on. Most corporate entities measure their viability in how much the company has grown financially. The stockholders for the company require that the company is viable and growing.

Some of the more aggressive companies attempt to acquire other businesses or merge with other entities. If plans are in the works for an acquisition or merger, the design will need to take this expansion into consideration. All of the entities concerned need to be investigated so that you will know how the units will tie together and so you can plan for the combined infrastructure.

Administrative Control

One of the most important considerations when identifying the requirements of any organization is the administrative responsibilities. More than anything else, you need to know who is responsible for the resources within the organization. Without this information, you will not know why the current domain structure is built, nor will you have a basis for restructuring the resources into an efficient directory service infrastructure.

Resources will include users, computers, shared folders, printers, domain controllers, sites, OUs, and any other physical or logical object that resides within Active Directory. You need to document what objects exist and who is responsible for each of them. In Chapter 5 , we will present effective designs for administrative control. The more thorough you are at discovering and documenting information at this level, the more effective your final design will be.

One tool many administrators use when mapping the resource/administrative control is a table that outlines the resources, who is responsible for those resources, and the level of control they have over the resources. As seen in Table 2.1, when the table is created, you can easily view who is responsible for each resource. This table, usually created with a spreadsheet, will also come in handy later as you start the design of the new directory service. The information you gathered will become your documentation for designing domains and OUs.

Table 2.1: A Sample Administrative Control Table

Server

Service/Application

Administrator (DetroitAdmins have control over all servers)

LANBDC

Backup Domain Controller

No Local Administration

NetServices

DHCP/DNS/WINS

No Local Administration

LANFNP

File and Print Server

LansingAdmins

LANINTRAWEB

Intranet Web Server

LansingAdmins

InChapter 1 /'Analyzing The Administrative Structure," we discussed the different types of administrative control: centralized, decentralized, and hybrid. Depending on the resources the administrative staff is responsible for and the level of control they have over those resources, you can decide what type of control the company uses. If administrators need complete autonomy over their own resources, chances are the organization employs a decentralized approach. If the administration is shared over all of the resources, a centralized model is probably being employed. However, if the company does have a hierarchy of administrative responsibilities where more than one group of administrators manage the resources, each with their own level of control, the company probably uses a hybrid approach. If you review the administrative requirements carefully, you should fully understand which model is being used.

Geographic Design

If an organization only has one location, the design should be simple, with no wide area network (WAN) links or a need for multiple sites or site links. More often than not, the company will have multiple locations with WAN links connecting them. You may even run into large multinational corporations that not only have multiple locations and several different types of communication links connecting them, but will also have time zone differences and geo-political boundaries.

Creating a map of the corporate anatomy will assist you when you are trying to visualize how the locations communicate. Make sure you include all of the different types of communication equipment as well as the speed of the links, their reliability, and the amount of traffic currently saturating the link. Using a program such as Visio, you can create network diagrams to include within your documentation. With these documents, you will then have information that details the current network topology. Figure 2.1 is an example of a Visio diagram that shows the connections among three offices.

Visio Infrastructure Diagram Example

SuiNtgo

Figure 2.1: A sample network diagram using Visio

SuiNtgo

Figure 2.1: A sample network diagram using Visio

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