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Purpose of child domains and additional controllers

What are the advantages of having child domain and additional domain controllers?

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Additional domains are typically needed for one of the following reasons:

  1. A group of users that needs to have more stringent Account Password policies
  2. A group of users/departments that needs to be separated for legal reasons – for example a branch of the company that is being spun-off as an independent business.
  3. There is a separation of the IT staff. I am partial to centralized staffing and operations, but some companies have departments or groups that must run independent of one another based on the specific technology needs. In some cases, the IT staff is separated by geographical regions, and more specifically, time zones.
  4. Security issues. HR is a typical example. However, the level of security of a set of servers can be achieved without an additional domain.
The addition of another domain should not be taken lightly. The extra expense and complexity are typically not warranted. Handling isolation of users, hardware or resource for administrative or security reasons can easily be handled via Organizational Structures, Group Policies and Access Control Lists (ACLs).

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This was first published in January 2005

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