Gartner Research

Active Directory: To Migrate or Not

Published: 05 December 2011

ID: G00218660

Analyst(s): Kevin Kampman


Active Directory (AD) is the dominant directory service in organizations. AD's heritage includes managing network security, but its value as a primary source of identity information has continued to expand. The usability and accessibility of identity information is influenced by the way the directory is structured. While changes such as mergers and acquisitions occur, enterprises are considering alternatives for consolidating identity information in the directory. New application and federation requirements are also influencing decisions about directory structure. This research paper identifies trends and alternatives for AD migrations and restructuring based on organizational experiences and insights.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • What Do AD Deployments Look Like?
    • Directory Structure and Components
    • Existing Deployments
  • What Conditions May Lead to Restructuring AD?
  • What Are the Alternatives?
    • Maintain the Existing Environment
    • Assimilate the Organization
    • Create a Consolidated Directory
    • Employ a Virtual Directory
    • Migrate Domains
  • Why Be Concerned About Migrations?
  • Who Is Involved in a Directory Migration?
  • What Needs to Be Communicated, to Whom?
  • When Do Migrations Take Place?
  • How Long Does a Migration Take?
  • Summary
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

The Details

  • Why Is an AD Migration Different From a Regular Directory Migration?
  • How Do We Conduct a Domain Migration?
    • What Components Affect a Migration?
    • What Data Requires Special Handling?
    • What Tools Are Available?
  • What Is the Domain Migration Process?
  • The Importance of Planning and Testing

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