Merging Dissimilar Domains

  • From: "Beahm, Keith" <kbeahm@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "[ExchangeList]" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 18:27:46 -0600

We have a situation in which we will have to merge (as quickly as possible)
5 separate domains into a 6th one.  The 5 domains are already physically
connected, but the 6th domain (the one they all have to join) cannot be
physically connected more than 1 or 2 weeks before they are all expected to
be functioning as one.  We have discussed four methods - (1) establishing
full 2-way trust and migrating the domains at a more relaxed pace over an
extended time period.  (2) rebuilding the 5 PDC's, rejoining all the member
servers and manually importing all the users to the 6th domain.  (3) Using
tools such as U-Promote or Newsid to modify the SID's of the existing member
and DC's in effect forcing them to become members of the 6th domain.  (4)
hold on cause this one's a little complicated - build a PDC in the 6th
domain (this gives it the right SID stock, and all of the existing 6th
domain user and server accounts) and ship it off to the other site with the
5 physically connected domains.  Then they begin joining the 6th domain
ahead of schedule, and on the day of reckoning we unplug the 6th domain PDC
(don't want any PDC wars).  Then once physically connected the remote PDC
should serve all 6 domains, and all the 6th domain admins have to do is
re-enter all changes made to server and user accounts since the separation.

There are Exchange and SQL servers in each of the 6 domains.  The "6th
domain" has several SQL and Exchange servers each.  In the 6th domain all of
the Exchange servers are in the same site. Exchange we had planned to tackle
using the Move Server Wizard.  SQL we will have to rerun the installation,
but the DB's should all remain intact.

Your thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated on the topic of
domain merges, and/or the handling of SQL and Exchange in this scenario.

Keith Beahm, Network Engineer

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