What is a Child Domain?

A child domain is a member domain of a Windows 2000 Active Directory directory service but is not the root domain of that Active Directory. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the differences between the NT 4.0 domain structure and Windows 2000 is to compare the old Hokies (NT 4.0) domain to the new Hokies (W2k) domain.

Old Hokies was an NT 4.0 accounts domain with which other NT 4.0 domains established a one-way trust to allow users with a Hokies account to access resources in their domain. With this model, there was no communication between domains unless those domain admins manually established the trust.

Old Hokies NT 4.0 Domain NT 4.0 Domain Model

New Hokies is the root domain of Virginia Tech's Windows 2000 Active Directory directory service; other domains who wish to participate join as child domains. In the Windows 2000 domain model, child domains are more tightly integrated through Active Directory. Child domains are not as isolated from one another as NT domains were, which is partly the basis for our Child Domain Usage Requirements .

In Windows 2000, two-way, transitive trusts are automatically established between child domains when they join the tree. This simplifies sharing resources between domains.

New Hokies Windows 2000 Domain Windows 2000 Domain Model