Overview of Restructuring Active Directory Domains Within a Forest

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Applies to: Active Directory Migration Tool 3.2 (ADMT 3.2)

The most efficient Active Directory design includes the smallest possible number of domains. By minimizing the number of domains in your forest, you can reduce administrative costs and increase the efficiency of your organization.

You might have to restructure domains in your forest if, for example, your organization closes a regional office location, and the regional domain for that location is no longer needed. To simplify your Active Directory logical structure, in the following cases, you might also restructure domains in your forest:

  • If you have upgraded your network infrastructure.

  • If you have increased network bandwidth and replication capacity.

The process of restructuring Active Directory domains in a forest is similar to the process of migrating accounts between domains. When you migrate accounts and resources between domains, you migrate objects from the source domain to the target domain without decommissioning the source domain. When you restructure Active Directory domains, you eliminate the source domain from the forest after you complete the migration of all domain objects.

Before you begin the process for restructuring Active Directory domains in a forest, ensure that the source and target domains are operating at the Windows Server 2003 domain functional level or higher.

After you complete the process for restructuring Active Directory domains in a forest, you can decommission the source domain to help reduce overhead and simplify domain functional level administration in your organization.