Customer Solution Case Study
Enterprise Services
Active Directory Test Labs
Media & Entertainment
Client Profile
A premier media company attracting more than 100 million consumers across their iconic and industry-leading print, digital and video brands.
Business Situation
The company needed a practical solution for creating Active Directory lab environments for testing changes before deploying them to their production directory, which would reduce the prospect of errors during high-risk maintenances and scripted remediation changes and directory cleanup.
Situation
The company was planning to migrate their users from Microsoft Office 365 to Google’s G-Suite of office productivity applications. In preparation of this shift, the company asked Innova Solutions to perform an Active Directory assessment to fully understand the current state and to identify any deficiencies which could compromise security or stability.
Enterprise directories grow and evolve over time and they tend to become extremely complicated due to excessive nesting of groups and distribution lists, and bloated with legacy entries. As this complexity increases, administrators become more reluctant to prune unnecessary directory objects because of the risk of breaking applications or user permissions, and so the problem continues to grow. Recognizing the administrative headaches that this complexity introduces for regular, on‑going maintenance, the company also asked Innova for help to analyze the complexity of their directory structure and recommend steps to simplify it over time.
After Innova delivered the assessment report and recommendations for remediation, the company felt uncomfortable actually performing any remediation due to the lack of a realistic lab environment that would allow them to test proposed changes and vet any issues before applying them into production, potentially affecting thousands of staff.
Solution
After producing a comprehensive report with specific, actionable recommendations to streamline and simplify their Active Directory environment, Innova Solutions was able to solve the company’s need for quickly and reliably creating Active Directory test labs that accurately reproduced the current AD structure.
Leveraging NepheleDomain™ (Innova’s proprietary Active Directory management tool), Innova was able to rapidly deliver a reproducible Active Directory test lab solution. The solution enables the company’s Active Directory administrators to quickly clone their production AD and deploy any number of near identical test labs in a fully automated, consistent and repeatable way. This solution is integrated with Amazon Web Services to provision the required server instances, instantiate the Active Directory forest, and then create all objects including their properties and, importantly, their permissions as well. The solution also allows for the filtering and/or transformation of objects to provide administrators with the flexibility to provision specific labs for testing specialized scenarios agilely and with ease.
Benefits
  • New capability to create complete Active Directory test environments at any time and in a fully automated manner.
  • Ability to safely test risky modifications to Active Directory in a segregated test environment, before applying those changes into production.
  • Ability to create test labs on-demand which mirror the production environment, minimizing costs by allowing test labs to be created only when required and which can be torn down when testing is complete.
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