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What is Active Directory Migration? Elaborated in Detail

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On December 11th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category Active Directory

The Active Directory migration needs to be performed in different situations such as merger or acquisition. But it is not that simple just like updating the Windows operating system. It includes multiple objects that need to be migrated. The Active Directory is the directory that provides the Active Directory Domain Service to store different information such as user accounts, passwords, phone numbers, and access rights.

Active Directory stores the details of the objects on the same network so that admins and users can easily access them. All of the data is stored in a hierarchical format. The Active Directory data store also stores the information of printers, servers, and computers.

The Active Directory is not just the code provided by Microsoft. It is a complex environment in which there are distinct concepts such as Organizational Units, Domains, Trees, and Forests are involved.

Table of Contents

Setting Up the Active Directory

While setting up the AD, some decisions should be taken at the run-time like its structure. During the construction of the AD structure using domain names, you have to be sure that they cannot be changed easily as per the business requirements. Changing the domain names and schema can create difficulties for the business.

The security groups and OUs are easy to modify as per the business requirement, but try to choose the structure of the AD wisely to reduce the overhead of the admin and for a smooth Active Directory migration. The Active Directory structure is based on four different categories and these are.

  • AD Domains and Forest – The logical structure of the AD is the organizational units, domains, and forests. The forest can have multiple domains and define a single directory along with the security boundary.
  • Domain Name System – It is used to provide resolution to the domain controller location and a hierarchical design that AD uses for naming conventions that reflect the organizational structure.
  • Schema – It is used to provide the object definitions while creating objects to store them in the AD.
  • Data Store – It manages the storage and retrieval of data on each domain controller while needed.

After successfully setting up the Active Directory sometimes the Active Directory does not perform as per the expectations. At that time, it needs to be restructured. Because different operations need to be followed with the AD such as moving objects from one domain to another, cross-forest migration, and many more.

Relation of Consolidation and Restructuring with the AD Migration

One of the toughest tasks is to perform AD migration from Source to destination efficiently without knowing the what is Active Directory migration. Sometimes there are multiple domains with the same AD and they need to consolidate. You can also remove the unnecessary groups and accounts. After performing the consolidation of all the domains into one. You need to restructure it, that is not an easy task.

If the restructuring requires in the schema and domains then you need to fulfill all the steps efficiently. You can also upgrade to the latest version of the Windows server to get the multiple benefits of it. Due to the upgradation of the windows, some of the overhead is also reduced for Active Directory Consolidation and Restructuring.

What to do for the AD Migration Project?

Knowing what is Active Directory migration and completing the AD migration from the source to the destination efficiently is required to reduce the business productivity but it is not an easy task. So, make sure you have a proper plan before transfer Active Directory to another server. Keep ready your source and destination points. Before executing the process filter, out the issues that can occur in the plan.

Then clean up the source environment as much as you can by inactivating the non-required accounts. Took the backup of the data so that data can be recovered if needed. After that, you can run the migration. But do not go directly to the actual migration. Prepare a test environment and test the migration with that. As the process takes too much time, so inform the users to schedule their important tasks.

Using an Active Directory Migration Tool

For a successful Active Migration tool you should use the Efficient Active Directory Migration Tool. This is one of the most used tools that gives accurate results. Through this tool, you can simplify the process of AD migration between source and destination.

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As the process is too difficult for the admins. This tool provides the complete solution and takes responsibility for the successful migration without affecting the data anymore.


In this article, we have elaborated on the most asked query “what is Active Directory migration” in detail. The steps that should be taken care of before the migration are also discussed. As per the difficulty of performing AD migration an automated tool is also advised which makes the process simpler and more efficient.


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.