Chapter 4. Distributing Administration
In this Chapter
This chapter will explore common administrative models and successful strategies developed to meet the needs of different IT organizations using Windows Server 2003. This chapter will guide the reader with tips and best practices on how to cost-effectively and securely distribute the administration of your IT resources.
Choosing the Best Administrative Model for Your Organization
Administrative models can help an IT organization begin to map out how IT resources and functions will be managed. Administrative models often follow a company's network architecture in terms of whether they are centralized, distributed, or a combination of the two. Many companies will find exceptions to this rule. Because administration in Windows Server 2003 environments can be granularly distributed, each model can be easily supported. This section will discuss centralized, distributed, and mixed administrative models.
It's a Lot Easier to Plan and Implement a Common Model in Early Active Directory Implementation Stages
The selection of the administrative model for an organization should be done early on in the design and planning phase of the Active Directory migration and implementation process. Although you can change administrative models, it's a lot easier to plan and implement a common model in early Active Directory implementation stages.
With centralized administration, most if not all of the IT resources and functions are administered from a central location. This often means that all the critical servers and IT equipment are also located in one physical site. Having a completely centralized IT architecture provides the advantage of greater control of all the resources. There is also a cost savings when compared to distributed and mixed models in that operating costs are limited to maintaining a single site. This has become an increasingly attractive model to companies trying to save costs by consolidating their resources. The
Centralized Administration Can Be Maintained in a Distributed IT Environment
In this case, network resources might be located at remote sites, but the administration and management of those systems are still administered at the local site. Even with distributed IT resources, you can still gain most of the benefits of a centralized architecture by localizing administration. As the need for hands-on administration grows at the remote sites, IT organizations begin adopting a distributed administration model.
In a distributed administration model, the administrative resources are physically located at both the local and remote site(s). In a Windows Server 2003 environment, there are varying levels of distributed administration. In a completely distributed administrative model, all administrative functions at the remote sites are managed and performed by IT staff in those same geographic locations. In this scenario, the company might gain better remote site performance by having onsite support for IT resources. Even in situations where all IT resources are kept in a central location, a distributed administration model might still apply. For organizations with a very large data center, various administrative roles can be distributed to different IT groups. For instance, one group might have administrative rights over DNS, but another
To preserve those benefits, many companies adopt a centralized/delegated approach to distributing administration. In these scenarios, limited administrative functions are delegated to remote administrators, whereas the overall administration of the network is managed from the primary central site. When centralized and distributed administrative strategies are combined, the mixed model begins to emerge.
The mixed model of administration will leverage the benefits from both centralized and distributed administration models. The mixed administration model benefits those companies that require distributed network architecture, but also want to maintain some level of central administration. Through granting permissions and rights for specific administrative functions to specific groups or users, the distribution of IT administration can be managed
Applying the Administrative Models
For most large size distributed organizations, adapting to a purely centralized or distributed administrative model is not practical. Finding the right combination of administrative strategies will be key in deploying a successful IT infrastructure. In making your administrative choices, you should design a strategy that