What time is a good time to migrate from a Workgroup to a Domain?

By Nonapeptide ·
I'm faced with a situation where a small organization might be expanding from a half dozen to a dozen users in three years. Their long term vision is rather ambitious, and (depending on their success in the next few years) they could expand to a significantly larger workforce in 5 years or so.

To make a long story short, It's conceivable that I could be called on to drastically expand their network and install completely new systems and services in five years time. I don't like the thought of creating a domain and migrating a network from a workgroup based solution to a domain environment on top of attempting a expansion / service addition project.

It seems to me that even if they never grow past 6 individuals, it can't hurt anything to switch them to a domain (Once I move past the initial terror-ladened task of moving workgroup accounts to domain accounts... ). Anyone have thoughts on tiny domain environments and when it's a good time to think about good ol' DCPromo?


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by CG IT In reply to What time is a good time ...

after lunch is usually a good time. Everyone has chowed down and are lethargic

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They can't attack as quickly

by Nonapeptide In reply to Afternoons

...when they realize that I require all of them to change their passwords every few weeks. With an enforced password history. Complexity requirements too.

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Oh!..... Oh!..... Oh!..... Good One!!!!!!

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Afternoons

I'm still ROTFLMAO with tears streaking down my face!!! Geeze! I gotta remember THAT one!

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I'm still laughing as well

by CG IT In reply to Oh!..... Oh!..... Oh!.... ...
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I think you answered your own question....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to What time is a good time ...

It seems to me that now would be a good time to switch. After all, you're considering doing it, you want to do it even though you're afraid to do it, and right now you don't have TOO many people to deal with while you take the time to learn how to use it. Once more people come online, you won't have the time to "learn as you go". Why not work all the kinks out of it now?

If management is willing to let you, then do it. Of course, they'll have to understand that it COULD be a bumpy ride for the first week or so. But, then again, it COULD go smooth as silk.

It seems you've done your homework... You're ready to take the plunge. All you need is confidence. :)

Oh, and let me know how it goes. I'm considering the same thing, but with a dozen users already in an office that doesn't have any room for expansion. Yeah, I'm CHICKEN!!!

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Some info to chew on...

by Nonapeptide In reply to What time is a good time ...

That's a thread that discusses this very issue. The fellow was considering moving an 8 node workgroup to a domain. That seems to be a good number of machines to start considering a domain.

The tool "User Profile Wizard 2.5" look interesting, but I was kinda hoping for something free. Maybe I'm just cheap and spoiled by the proliferating open source movement.

Edited for clarity.

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There are free tools to move user profiles. Check out moveuser from

by ManiacMan In reply to Some info to chew on...

MS or sysinternals I believe. You don't have to pay for anything for a utility that is free.

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by Nonapeptide In reply to There are free tools to m ...

Have you used in much?

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2 Non-Domain Options

by kam In reply to What time is a good time ...

#1 Go with a Network Attached Storage device.

#2 Go with a Linux server, install Samba and basically have the same thing as #1 but more flexibility to add features as time goes on. You can even do "DFS" in Samba but it is not identical in operation.

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Good ideas, but not quite the solutions that I had in mind

by Nonapeptide In reply to 2 Non-Domain Options

#1 Doesn't address the need for centralized management of the computers.

The second suggestion, being similar to #1, is not quite what I had in mind. Some kind of centralized way to manage the growing fleet of computers is what the situation calls for.

I have kicked around the idea of using something like PSExec and other CLI tools and creating a local admin account on all workgroup computers. Then from one central computer I'd use heaps of scripts (taking advantage of pass through authentication) to do various tasks. Definitely yucky, but it might work.


(Edited for clarity)

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