Creating an OU
To give the engineering department the functionality it is asking for, the IS department must first create an OU to contain the user accounts and other objects for the engineering department. All OU implementation and administration is accomplished through the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. After the console is started, navigate to the domain that the OU should be located within. From the context menu, choose New, Organizational Unit, as shown in Figure 3.1.
Figure 3.1 Creating a new OU.
The first property screen for the new OU will ask for a name. This should be something that is descriptive and clearly shows the role of the OU. Enter the name in the field, as shown in Figure 3.2.
Figure 3.2 Enter the name for the OU.
Moving Objects Within an OU Hierarchy
After the OU is created, it must be populated. To move users, computers, or other objects to an OU, open the proper folder and highlight the desired objects. From the context menu, select Move, as shown in Figure 3.3. One of the powerful features of this is that you can move multiple objects at the same time by Ctrl+clicking each object prior to right-clicking and clicking Move. In addition to users, groups, computers, and printers, you can also move one OU into another to create a hierarchy. We'll discuss this a bit later in the chapter.
Figure 3.3 Moving objects to an OU.
The next step is to select the destination OU for the objects, as shown in Figure 3.4.
Figure 3.4 Selecting the destination OU.
After the various objects are moved into the OU, the contents of that OU can be viewed through the Active Directory Users and Computers console. In Figure 3.5, you see that we placed both the engineering security group and the computers that the engineering group uses into the OU. As a result of these actions, the engineering OU now contains the engineering department objects.
Figure 3.5 Viewing the contents of an OU.
Remember that when you move objects, the objects inherit the security settings of the destination. Furthermore, in a complex environment utilizing multiple levels of container nesting and Group Policy, moving objects must be done with care. Chapter 5 covers the tools you can use to accurately predict the results of Group Policy processing without having to actually move the object and see what happens.
Delegating Permissions for an OU to a User or to a Security Group
After the OU is created, it is time to delegate control of the OU to a selected few engineering users. Begin by opening the Active Directory Users and Computers console and selecting the desired OU, as shown in Figure 3.6. From the context menu, select Delegate Control.
Figure 3.6 Delegating control of an OU.
This launches the Delegation of Control Wizard, as shown in Figure 3.7. As with most wizards, click Next to pass the startup screen.
Figure 3.7 The Delegation of Control Wizard.
The next step, shown in Figure 3.8, is to choose the group and/or users to whom the control is being delegated. In this case, we'll choose a group called Engineering Administrators. This group, which was created earlier, contains the user accounts of the two people trusted to change the passwords.
Figure 3.8 Select the group or user to whom control will be delegated.
After this selection, choose the rights that the delegates should exercise over the OU. The options you choose here determine the capabilities of the delegated administrators. Selecting the option Reset Passwords on User Accounts will allow the administrators for the OU to reset user passwords. As you can see in Figure 3.9, several other options are available.
Figure 3.9 Assigning permissions.
The last step is merely to confirm the rights granted to the delegates. You should always double-check and verify that the rights granted actually match the intended purpose. Remember, the rights are inherited throughout the OU. If the rights granted are correct, select Finish, as shown in Figure 3.10. Note that if you need to modify the assigned permissions later, you can do so by going to the Security tab in the OU's properties. In addition, by going into the Advanced properties on the Security tab, you can then click the Effective Permissions tab and view the permissions that any user or group has on the object.
Figure 3.10 Verifying the delegated rights.