Gone are the days when separate user names had to be configured and used for logging into numerous servers for working on a network. For example, back in the early days a user might have to login to a mail server with a separate user name and password as compared to a data a UNIX server for managing files. With the advent of solutions such as the Active Directory, user authentication and management is much simpler now. For example, Kerberos authentication allows a user to easily manage mails, database related activities and access across multiple places on a network with a single user profile via the Active Directory in a Domain environment. In this post we will tell you the steps to create a domain in Windows Server 2008 and the things that you need to consider during this process.
For the purpose of this article, we are using Windows Server 2008 R2 to create a domain, the same configurations apply for the 32-bit version. To get started, go to Run or a Command Prompt and type dcpromo and hit Enter.
This will show you a message to wait until the installation wizard opens. Once the installation wizard opens, hit Next. Make sure the Use advanced mode installation option is unchecked.
The next step will display a screen explaining operating system compatibility details with a link at the bottom of the wizard which can be used to get more information about the topic. Hit Next to continue.
When making a domain you will be given the option to add a domain in an existing forest or creating a new domain within a new forest. You can also use this wizard to add a domain controller to an existing domain (a domain tree). Here we will select Create a new domain in a new forest option and hit Next.
A tree is made up of multiple domains and multiple trees merge under the realm of a forest. The name of the first Domain created within a forest (the forest root Domain) also becomes the name of the forest. To move forward, enter a FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name), e.g. addictivetips.com. The wizard will proceed further after checking the NetBIOS name to make sure that there is no existing domain already present with the same name.
In the next step, select the forest functional level by choosing the appropriate Windows Server version. Choosing a newer version will give you more functionality options, however, you can select older levels as well.
The DNS Server checkbox is checked by default to install the DNS server.
While attempting to proceed further you may be prompted to assign a static IP if it is set to obtain (IP automatically). It is not advised to use a dynamic IP from the DHCP server for a domain as the dynamic IPs change after a set period of time which will cause major disruptions as client operating system will disconnect if and when the IP changes.
To assign a static IP to the adapter, go to the Network and Sharing Center and click on Change Adapter Settings. From here select TCP/IPv4 and set a static IP e.g. 192.168.1.254. Also set a Default Gateway, which is normally the IP of a router. In the Proffered DNS section you can simply enter the Domain IP (which in this case is 188.8.131.52) or add a loopback IP (127.0.0.1) so that the domain automatically send itself the DNS queries. This will be helpful if you ever change the Domain IP, as the DNS will not have to be adjusted. You can also use an alternative DNS in the Alternative DNS Server section. To move forward click on “No, I will assign static IP addresses to all physical adapters”.
In the next step, you will have the choice to save the Database, Log and SYSVOL files to the same or separate locations. Some administrators save them separately to balance the load or hard disk space considerations, whereas others save them at the same location. This is not much of an issue nowadays, especially in the wake of better disaster recovery mechanisms.
Moving forward, you will be asked to save a restore mode password (which is separate from the Domain Administrator’s account). This password is configured to be used when the Domain Controller is started in Directory Services Restore Mode.
In the final part of the wizard, you can check the summary of the configurations in the Review Your Selections box and proceed to create your Domain.
The installation will complete after a brief period of time (depending upon your hardware capability) and you will be able to start working on your Domain after restarting the system.