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Active Directory, Second Edition by Alistair G. Lowe-Norris, Robbie Allen

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Using GPOs to Help Design the Organizational Unit Structure

In Chapter 8, we described the design of the Active Directory Organizational Unit hierarchy. We also explained that other items have a bearing on that design. You see, there are two key design issues that affect the structure of your Organizational Units: permissions delegation and GPO placement. If you decide that your Active Directory is to be managed centrally rather than in a distributed fashion and that you will employ only a few GPOs that will be implemented mostly domainwide (rather than many GPOs on many Organizational Units), your Organizational Unit structure can be almost any way that you want it to be. It shouldn’t make much difference whether you have 400 branches coming off the root or one container with every item inside it. However, if permissions over specific objects do need to be delegated to specific sets of administrators, it will make more sense to structure your domain Organizational Units in a manner that facilitates that administration. This doesn’t have to be the case, but it makes it much easier to use Organizational Units.

For example, if we have 1,000 users and 10 managers who each manage 100 users, we could put the 1,000 users in one Organizational Unit and give the 10 admins permission to modify only their 100 users. This is a slow and daft way to run systems administration. It would be better to create 10 Organizational Units and put 100 users in each, giving each administrator permission ...

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