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We are modifying all the displayName attributes on our AD.

We a slightly modified version of Microsoft's KB script. Our AD is mostly used as a backend for a NAS-based file sharing.

Do you think it'll be safe to run during daytime? If so, what kind of side effects should we be aware of while the change is ongoing?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Without knowing whatsoever about the situation, I've got to say, if YOU don't know the underlying impact, you definitely shouldn't do this during general hours.

This is the kind of thing labs were invented for. Also maintenance windows.

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And backup plans. And modifying it to modify smaller OU's first in case something goes wrong. – Bart Silverstrim Feb 16 '11 at 16:12
Thank you Mr. Simmons. I understand that this would be ideal for a lab situation. Unfortunately, we do not have a lab (yes, we should but I do not make those decisions sadly). What I really want to know is if anyone has had any experience doing this and, if so, what kind of side effects they saw. – Belmin Fernandez Feb 16 '11 at 16:39
Mr. Silverstrim: Thank you! Excellent suggestion. I had already thought of performing it OU by OU if forced to run the update during daytime hours. – Belmin Fernandez Feb 16 '11 at 16:41
Create a test OU with some dummy users, and run it on that first. – Jeremy Feb 16 '11 at 18:50

A lot of this depends on how busy your DCs are as well as your replication topology. Expect that this will create a flood of replication traffic between your DCs - unless you have some sort of QoS in place that limits RPC traffic, you might find that the change causes a noticeable spike in LAN usage as the DCs replicate. And if the DCs themselves are already working hard then you could easily see the additional load affect all sorts of things across the enterprise - most notably, delays in connecting to your NAS. If you have multiple AD sites expect the next replication to take longer as well - and if those site links are already heavily used you might see performance decrease during the replication.

I'd do it off hours, and make sure you are able to restore from backup in case something goes wrong. Ideally, you could come up with a way to revert changes (by reapplying the old displayName) that doesn't involve restoring your entire AD from backup (this is not fun).

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Good suggestions (including your comment in the other answer). Thank you Jeremy. – Belmin Fernandez Feb 16 '11 at 19:50

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