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What OU naming convention is best to use internally?

I am in the process of planning my migration to Windows 2000 and I want to get it right. I currently have a single NT4 domain with one PDC, four BDCs and multiple application-specific standalone servers spread over three sites. The sites are connected by WAN links and each site runs Exchange 5.5 on the BDC.

I have a 2 MB connection to the Internet and run three different domains (i.e.,,, These are used for identifying specific parts of the business to external clients, but are not used to distinguish internally.

If I want to maintain the single domain model internally and split the business using organizational units (OUs), what naming convention is the best to use internally? Should I use a .msft, a .dom or something else, like my primary external domain name (i.e.,

Thanks for any help and advice.

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If none of the systems needs to be recognized externally, you can use whatever you like. I generally use ".local" -- seems to me this has no hopes of ever being a qualified Internet domain name. Using a sub-domain of the external domain will make the Exchange a touch easier, but I like keeping things separate myself.

This was first published in February 2003

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