A Tool for a Mature Active Directory

Aelita Software this week introduced an infrastructure tool to help deal with the problems facing enterprises with mature Active Directories.

One of the first companies to anticipate the need for tools to help with the massive domain restructurings necessary four years ago prior to the launch of Windows 2000 and the Active Directory, Aelita is now looking ahead to the second-generation of problems enterprises need help resolving with their Active Directory infrastructures.

The new tool is called the Aelita Enterprise Migration Manager and was generally available on Tuesday. Aelita positions EMM as a tool for Active Directory-to-Active Directory migrations. Previous products have focused on Windows NT-to-Active Directory migrations, and EMM is based on Aelita's technology for that earlier generation of migrations.

"During 2002, there were more than 6,000 mergers and acquisitions in the United States alone, and we believe that the majority of those organizations have Windows-centric IT infrastructures," said Aelita President and CEO Ratmir Timashev, in a statement to explain his belief that the market is ready for an AD-to-AD migration tool.

Aelita offers several plausible organizational and technical scenarios for needing to restructure AD. Organizational reasons include mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, splits, corporate restructuring and employee transfers. Technical reasons include problems with directory replication performance, security concerns driving a move from a single forest design to a multi-forest deployment, regulatory requirements that employee and customer data be separate and operational autonomy for political situations when internal factions disagree on the appropriate Active Directory structure.

Gartner analyst John Enck adds that up to half of all Active Directory users didn't restructure their domains when they first migrated from Windows NT, providing a large group of organizations that should be considering a restructuring of their Active Directory environments.

EMM can be used to restructure an Active Directory while moving from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2003, to split Active Directory forests and to automate "pruning and grafting" of Active Directory

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.