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Managing Windows Server 2003 Active Directory forests

Our company has three separate Windows Server 2003 forests spanned across three states. We recently implemented an MPLS VPN Tunnel linking the two remote sites to our corporate site. My ultimate goal is to manage this network as one forest and make both remote sites a child domain of the corporate site. I know this can be easily done by removing Active Directory from both sites and then joining them to corporate domain as a child, but that would still require recreation of user accounts and having to visit all machines to readd them to the new domain. I know there has to be an alternate method. Any input would be appreciated.

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I would recommend that you take a look at the Active Directory Migration Tool, which is a free download available at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=788975b1-5849-4707-9817-8c9773c25c6c&DisplayLang=en.

This tool will allow you to restructure or consolidate Active Directory forests as you describe, including migrating computer accounts and user account passwords. There are also third-party tools from NetIQ and Quest.

This was first published in June 2005

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