Kudos to the Libraries ITS

I just wanted to call attention to the fact that during last week the Libraries executed a Windows domain rename. You use the Windows domain rename functionality to change the underlying DNS domain behind your Windows domain. To my knowledge, this is the first UW Windows domain to have ever done so.

Windows domain rename is a functionality that has been around for awhile, and client support for it has been baked into Windows since Windows 2000.

As you might imagine, such an operation is not for the feint of heart, and can involve many hidden perils for those who don’t take enough time to carefully plan their path. Even for those that do take adequate planning time it can be a losing proposition because identifying and testing every application which might hard-coded or permanently cache that DNS domain can be a larger exercise than the benefit (or even an impossible exercise depending on the size and complexity of your domain).

At a really high level, you get the DNS stuff all setup, make a few changes in your Active Directory, and then get all domain members to reboot once or twice, and upon reboot the domain clients pick up the change and adjust themselves accordingly.

For more info on Windows domain rename, check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb405948.aspx where you’ll find links to the tools, an “understanding” whitepaper, and a step-by-step guide.

You might also consult with Mike Reynolds and his coworkers in the Libraries ITS to find out how their experience went, and what they did to prepare to make their experience a success.