Active Directory in Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization

Published: February 25, 2008


The Infrastructure Optimization (IO) Model at Microsoft groups IT processes and technologies across a continuum of organizational maturity. (For more information, see The model was developed by industry analysts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), and Microsoft's own experiences with its enterprise customers. A key goal for Microsoft in creating the Infrastructure Optimization Model was to develop a simple way to use a maturity framework that is flexible and can easily be applied as the benchmark for technical capability and business value.

IO is structured around three information technology models: Core Infrastructure Optimization, Application Platform Optimization, and Business Productivity Infrastructure Optimization. According to the Core Infrastructure Optimization Model, having administrator-controlled automated physical or virtual application distribution will help move an organization to the Rationalized level. Active Directory provides the administrator with the mechanism for user and machine authentication within the organization. Active Directory begins to move the organization to the Standardized level, while providing the infrastructure for additional services required in the Rationalized and Dynamic levels. This guide will assist you in planning and designing the infrastructure for an Active Directory implementation.

Figure 1. Mapping of Active Directory technology into Core Infrastructure Optimization Model

Infrastructure Architecture and Business Architecture

Microsoft produces architectural decision-making guidance for IT infrastructure and business architecture. The architectural principles and decisions presented in the Infrastructure Planning and Design series are relevant to IT infrastructure architecture. The business architecture templates from Microsoft focus on detailed business capabilities, such as price calculation, payment collection process, and order fulfillment. Although the IT infrastructure will affect business capabilities, and business architectural requirements should contribute to infrastructure decisions, the Infrastructure Planning and Design series does not define or correlate specific individual business architecture templates. Instead, the Infrastructure Planning and Design guides will present critical decision points where service management or business process input is required.

For additional information about business architecture tools and models, please contact your nearest Microsoft representative or watch the video about this topic, available at

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