Active Directory was developed by Microsoft to provide a variety of network services. Active directory was designed to store information in a central location. It is capable of handling everything from small to large Windows Networks. It provides for centralized management of the entire network. This allows for unified security and simplified location and use of files throughout the company. The benefits from this centralized network are a reduction in the cost of managing directories and Active Directory allows for resource management delegation and this will also ease the task of software distribution throughout the company.

The first step in implementing an Active directory is to analyze the structure, needs, and goals of Riordan Manufacturing. This step is very important because the information obtained during this process will play a major role in the final structure of the Active Directory and influence various design elements of the Active Directory such as forests, trees, domains, and organizational units.

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The first thing to consider when implementing Active Directory within Riordan Manufacturing is whether to create a centralized root directory (forest) or to have multiple root directories to cover the four locations located in Albany, Pontiac, San Jose, and China.

After careful consideration a centralized structure is being proposed. The reason for this single forest design is the fact that it is simple and should be fairly easy to implement and maintain. There will be 4 sub-domains below the forest. The four sub-domains will represent the four separate locations Riordan Manufacturing currently has and if other locations are added in the future another domain can easily be added to the proposed structure.

Each domain will continue to use their current WAN infrastructure to connect from the site domain to the forest domain which will be located at the corporate headquarters in San Jose. Windows NT will need to be replaced with Windows Server 2003.

Within each domain there will be Organizational units that will represent various departments at each location. These Organizational units will represent the various users, computers, printers and any other objects related to the individual unit.

In conclusion Active Directory will be a great benefit to Riordan Manufacturing. It will greatly increase the network security. Provide for a uniform structure of the network at all locations and make sharing files and other information throughout the company easier and improve productivity overall at every location when the Active directory implementation is complete.