Determining your hardware needs for a new Active Directory domain can be a hit or miss proposition. Microsoft has endeavored to simplify this shot-in-the-dark activity by developing the Active Directory Sizer tool. The Active Directory Sizer tool (Adsizer) is a multi-faceted wizard that asks questions about your existing or proposed domain. It then uses your responses to generate a suggested hardware configuration to meet your needs and performance requirements.
From the following categories of inputs:
- Total number of users in the domain
- Total number of attributes per user
- Average number of groups a user belongs to
- Average logon rate per second during peak hours (interactive, batch and network)
- Password expiration rate (in days)
- Number of Windows 2000-based computers in the domain
- Number of other computers in this domain
- Number of other objects published in this domain
- Desired average CPU utilization limit for each Domain Controller
- Preferred CPU type for domain controllers
- Administration workload
- Microsoft Exchange 2000 usage
- DNS related issues
- Other Active Directory-enabled application issues
From these inputs, the Adsizer tool generates a report that indicates the suggested:
- Domain controllers per domain per site.
- Global Catalog servers per domain per site.
- CPUs per machine and type of CPU.
- Disks needed for Active Directory data storage.
- Amount of memory required.
- Network bandwidth utilization.
- Domain database size.
- Global Catalog database size.
- Inter-site replication bandwidth required.
You can download the Adsizer tool from Microsoft.
James Michael Stewart is a partner and researcher for Itinfopros, a technology-focused writing and training organization.
This was first published in December 2003