Creating plans

It is strongly recommend that you create deployment plans before deploying Microsoft Provisioning System. This section provides information to consider as you for develop the basic plans. The amount of detail in your plans will depend on your environment and requirements. Some fundamental processes to take into account during this planning phase are covered in a set of design guidelines called the Microsoft Solutions Framework, available at the Microsoft Web site. ( additional deployment planning resources, see Resources.

Strategy and objectives

Before you deploy Microsoft Provisioning System, you should develop a deployment strategy based on your requirements and objectives. You should then incorporate this strategy into your plans. Defining a deployment strategy includes the following activities:

Considering your long-term business strategy

Your system should be able to extend and grow to support your long-term business strategy. For example, if you expect your customer base to grow, you should be able to scale Microsoft Provisioning System to support it. Conversely, if you plan to support a small number of users with a limited deployment, you can keep costs down by designing a simpler, less extensible system that fits your needs.

Defining objectives

Consider both short-term and long-term objectives. For example, be sure to consider any anticipated increase in your customer base or changes in your technical strategy. With a clear understanding of your objectives, you can design a versatile system that will adapt to your changing business needs and meet increased demands.


An important first step in planning your deployment is defining precisely the functions your provisioning system must perform and translating them into a requirements definition. A requirements definition document describes required provisioning system behavior and the technology strategies for implementing it. It also includes any additional requirements for the deployment project, such as special expertise needed on the deployment team and user training that will be required to deploy, maintain, and use the provisioning system. You should consider both the current technical environment and the projected usage pattern of the system in developing your requirements definition.

Technical environment

As part of the preparation for defining requirements, you should conduct a survey of the current technical environment—the network, technologies, and business solutions with which Microsoft Provisioning System must integrate. You then use this survey as you plan strategies for deploying the system into the existing environment.

The basic tasks for a network survey are as follows:

After you have performed these assessments, you must determine whether any additions or changes to the current environment will be necessary to deploy Microsoft Provisioning System. This also involves reviewing the hardware and software requirements, as described in System requirements.

Predicting usage patterns

Another important aspect of assessing requirements involves predicting usage patterns for Microsoft Provisioning System. You make this prediction based on the type of users (usually defined by job function or group membership), number of users, and where they are located on the network. Using this information for system capacity planning ensures that the system will be able to support its projected load. In addition, for network planning, it ensures that there is adequate communication among the various components of the system.

For each service of Microsoft Provisioning System, you should make projections for the following usage patterns:

You should consider this information when creating your system design so that you adopt the right strategies for ensuring acceptable levels of performance and availability in both the short and long term.

These estimates are also important in developing a preliminary specification for server hardware, which includes the number of servers, the number of processors, and any other hardware that will be required to support your projected usage. During the system pilot test, you should track the actual usage levels and patterns for the various services. You can then use this information to adjust your preliminary projections and hardware requirements based on actual usage.

Security plan

A security plan is an essential component of your Microsoft Provisioning System deployment plan. This topic provides a brief introduction to security planning. For more information, see Planning a secure deployment.

Microsoft Provisioning System uses your existing network security methods to protect data and transactions. Delegated Administration Console uses Active Directory for authentication. When users log on to Delegated Administration Console, it passes the information to Active Directory, which authenticates the user account and grants or denies access to features based on the account credentials.

Planning an effective security strategy includes defining the requirements based on your particular network, your security policies, and the ways in which you will use Microsoft Provisioning System. As part of your planning, list the security methods and policies already in place and plan to integrate Microsoft Provisioning System with them. You should make any necessary adjustments before beginning the actual deployment.

There are many aspects of security to include in your planning process. To view procedures and best practices system administrators can use to secure their Windows 2000—based servers and maintain secure operations, see the Microsoft Web site ( Through effective use of Group Policy, proper patch management, and auditing and intrusion detection tactics, this guide provides administrators with the key information to manage risk of attack from avoidable malicious code (such as viruses and Trojan horses), unauthorized access, and data theft. To find other valuable information about security planning, search for "security planning" at the Microsoft Web site.

System design

Your system design should take into consideration the current technical environment and projected usage patterns. In addition, it should optimize the availability and performance of your system and make it easy to scale up in response to increasing demand. Microsoft Provisioning System comprises a set of software components that perform specific functions, and which can be deployed on different servers or clusters of servers. This architecture enhances overall system performance, enables you to easily scale up to meet demand for a particular service, and provides failover protection for a cluster.

For more information about designing systems for high availability, see "Chapter 18: Ensuring the Availability of Applications and Services" in Windows 2000 Deployment Planning Guide at the Microsoft Web site. ( For more information about optimizing availability and performance for Microsoft Provisioning System, see Planning for availability and performance. For more information about specific infrastructure considerations, see Planning your infrastructure.

System recovery plan

A system recovery plan describes the steps to take to ensure that you can recover your system if a failure occurs. The recovery plan should include planning regular backups and documenting appropriate procedures for restoring data. For more information about planning a recovery strategy, see Specifying system recovery requirements and plans.

Test plan

Your test plan should include setting up a test lab, as described in Setting up a test lab. It should also list requirements and acceptance criteria for system testing and security testing. For more information, see Performing system tests and Testing security.