Happy 10th Anniversary to Active Directory

Time sure flies when you are busy keeping up with Active Directory, which has been around since it’s release on February 17, 2000 with Windows Server 2000.

I remember the first time I was part of an upgrade from NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 Active Directory. I was the sole IT person in the branch office and was working on a project to upgrading my branch office to be a child domain in the headquarters’ “new” Windows 2000 Active Directory forest.

The NT 4.0 PDC in my office had a DNS suffix defined in the network settings, and unknown to us at the time, caused my domain to end up with a disjointed namespace. Once we realized we had an issue, I got to be part of my first upgrade and my first rollback – all in the same evening.

Because I had taken my backup domain controller offline, it was pretty easy for me to bring NT 4.0 back to life. It was far more work for my colleagues at headquarters, who had to call support services for details on using NTDSUTIL to remove the remnants of the child domain controller out of AD forest so we could perform the upgrade again.

Several years, and several domain controller demotions later, I’m quite comfortable with the process I first saw happen back in that little closet of a server room. Active Directory, it’s certainly been fun 10 years!


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