In most cases, if you are deploying on Linux or UNIX computers and have an existing user population to migrate to Active Directory, you would create a hierarchical zone structure of multiple zones. However, multiple zones are not required for all situations. You can greatly reduce the time required and complexity of your deployment if a single zone suits your organization’s needs. For example, if you are deploying on Mac OS X or Windows computers or if you have a mix of computer platforms but do not have an existing user population to migrate, you might benefit from deploying agents using the Auto Zone option.
With Auto Zone, you have a single zone for an entire forest. All of the users and groups you have defined in Active Directory for the forest automatically become valid users and groups on the computers that join the Auto Zone. If the forest has a two-way trust relationship with another forest, all Active Directory users defined in that trusted forest are also automatically valid on computers that join the Auto Zone.
If you simply want to use the Active Directory users and groups you have already defined on the non‑Windows computers you manage, you can skip the planning and creation of zones and simply add computers to the Auto Zone when you join the domain. The UNIX profile attributes that are required to access computers in the Auto Zone are then automatically derived from user attributes in Active Directory or from settings defined in group policies or configuration parameters.
Note: You cannot use Auto Zone to give automatic access to users and groups in a forest or domain with a one-way trust relationship with another forest or domain.
You can use Auto Zone without enabling any group policies or changing any of the default configuration settings. You can also join a domain through the Auto Zone without installing Access Manager. However, you can use group policies or configuration parameters to specify a subset of Active Directory users or groups as valid Auto Zone users. The settings are then enforced on computers in the Auto Zone.
Using Auto Zone can make sense in small or larger organizations if you are not migrating existing users and groups or maintaining legacy UNIX profile attributes. However, if you use Auto Zone, you cannot use zone-specific features. For computers in the Auto Zone, you cannot configure rights and roles, assign roles to users and groups, or provide different profile attributes on different computers.
For information about joining a domain using Auto Zone, see the man page for adjoin or the Administrator’s Guide for Linux and UNIX. For information about using group policies or configuration parameters, see the Group Policy Guide or Configuration and Tuning Reference Guide.