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Active Directory Naming Conventions

  1. user principal name: jjsmith@tacteam.net
  2. distinguished name: DC=NET, DC=tacteam, OU=HR, CN=Jonathan Smith
  3. global unique identifier: 921FB974-ED42-11BE-BACD-00AA0057B223
  4. relative distinguished name: Jonathan Smith

Computer Account in Forest

Each client workstation or server in an Active Directory network must have a computer account somewhere in the forest to let users log on via that client. When a machine is added to a domain in a forest, the computer account is created in Active Directory, and a trust relationship is established between the client and the domain so that the client is recognized as a valid member of the domain.
Where a client is placed in the forest determines part of the name. Member servers are usually placed in the domain that hosts most of the users that use the server, and DCs are located by their very nature in the individual domains that they host. Clients can be placed anywhere, but they are usually placed in the domain that the primary users of that client will normally log onto.
All hosts are named <computer>.<domain>.
For example, a server called SRV01 in distributednetworks.com domain would usually be called
srv01.distributednetworks.com; 
a server called SRV02 in the Europe domain would usually be called srv02.europe.distributednetworks.com.

What is OU?

When you install an Active Directory domain, a number of default containers and organizational units are created automatically, including the Users and Computers containers and the Domain Controllers OU. If you try to create a new container, you will find that there is no option to do so from within the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) MMC snap-in. This also applies to Organization, Locality, and Country container objects. This is intentional and in almost all cases, you would want to create an organizational unit instead of a container.
It is possible to create the other types of containers from within scripts and other LDAP tools, but generally it is not necessary.
So, throughout this course, whenever we advocate creating hierarchies within domains, we always recommend that you use organizational units. After all, an organizational unit is just a superset of a container. There is nothing a container can do that an organizational unit cannot.

You now have one or more forests of domain trees, as well as an OU structure. You can now consider the naming convention for the servers and workstations. For example, a server called SRV01 in the cohovines.com domain would usually be called
srv01.ooportal.com;

a server called SRV02 in the Europe domain would usually be called srv02.europe.ooportal.com.
The DNS domain name of the machines in a given domain does not strictly need to match the Active Directory domain name. This is one example of a disjoint namespace, and it is a supported configuration by Microsoft. This type of configuration is sometimes found in larger Enterprise-class organizations that have complex distributed DNS configurations. You may find, for example, a server with the name
srv01.detroit.michigan.us.cohovines.com

, which is a member of the AD domain northamerica.cohovines.com.