Active Directory migration planning checklist

Planning an Active Directory upgrade or migration? This checklist provides all the key factors to be aware of before you begin.

I read over and over again, "you must plan your migration to Active Directory." Exactly what do you include as...

part of the planning? I can plan, but I want to make sure what I have planned has covered all the requirements.

You will have to cover at least the following:

  • Collect diagrams configuration of current DNS
  • Collect diagrams and configuration of current network structure -- include bandwidth, remote locations and stability
  • Collect listings of all servers and their criticality
  • Collect listing of workstations that will be affected
  • Understand how all of the servers and workstations interrelate
  • Collect information on the security policies or the requirements if you have to create a security policy
  • Determine the type of migration (post restructure, pre-restructure, pristine build or upgrade)
  • Determine the rights, objects and policies that will need to be migrated.
  • Determine the fall back procedures in case of failure
  • This involved procedures for servers, backups, secondary systems, etc.

    Then you start the development the plans:


  • User education and notification plan (this gets missed so often)
  • IT training plan
  • DNS structure and implementation plan (must be completed first)
  • AD installation and implementation/migration plan
  • Must include fallback plan
  • Must have interim operations plans (how to support)
  • Must have interim functionality plan (how replication, WINS, DNS and logins will be working)
  • Installation of AD
  • Installation/upgrade of servers
  • Trusts required and how to install
  • Sites that will be installed
  • Hardware required

    Here is the post-AD installation planning:


  • Must include cleanup of old accounts, groups, ACLS, etc.
  • Retirement of old systems
  • Retirement of old domains
  • Move to NATIVE mode
  • Upgrading other servers (applications, Web systems, etc.)
  • Support plan for the migration and post migration

    Here is the group policy planning:


  • Development of group policy for user accounts, passwords, security
  • GP for event logs, desktops, etc.
  • Who has access to modify group policy

    Here is the operations planning:

  • Who will be administrating the AD and each piece of the AD
  • Help desk functions
  • IT server administration functions

    Well, that is my quick list. There is more of course, and the list is a little dynamic based on the type of migration that occurs.

This was last published in August 2003

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