Here’s What to Do to Make Active Directory Migrations Succeed

 In Microsoft

Active Directory makes it possible for your users to access IT resources to do their work. It knows about your users, your computers, and what resources users are able to access. AD environments over the years have grown to include thousands of objects, and businesses have detailed policies, groups, and other security controls to ensure appropriate access rights are granted to users. If you use Azure Active Directory as well as on premises Active Directory, AD may control access to every IT resource you have.

It’s clear, then, that breaking AD will cause a major outage with significant negative impact. Any work like a migration, consolidation, or restructuring needs to be carefully planned and managed to ensure things run smoothly.

Make Your Active Directory Projects Succeed

Start with thorough planning. This requires both looking back to make sure you understand your current environment and why it looks the way it does, and looking forward, to craft a design for a new environment that will offer the functionality and benefits you desire. Create a detailed plan for getting from the “old” to the “new.” Microsoft offers an AD migration checklist you can use to guide your work.

Test the plan in a lab environment carefully to make sure nothing is overlooked. Expect to discover challenges in migrating old or custom applications. In addition, document and test a rollback plan in case you encounter unexpected difficulties.

Part of the plan should involve prep work: cleaning up the current AD environment to delete inactive accounts and other unneeded resources. There’s no point to carrying over these items; they take up space and result in wasted time testing and validating them.

Before scheduling the work, speak with the user community. Ideally a successful AD migration is transparent, but a migration with technical problems will cause significant user problems as well. The work therefore cannot be planned during any period of critical business activity. Because it will take time to complete the migration, you should have a strategy that ensures users remain productive throughout the process.

Active Directory makes it possible for users to access IT resources, so making an AD migration smooth and seamless is important. While Microsoft’s checklist is a good start, the critical nature of this project means it’s useful to get a helping hand from experts. The team at Prescient Solutions is a Microsoft Partner, with certifications that document our expertise. We support Microsoft server technologies, including Active Directory, and offer IT consulting and managed technology services to businesses in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Contact Prescient Solutions to get help with your Active Directory migration and all your other Microsoft projects.

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