The Mines and Geosciences Bureau conducted the Active Directory Domain Services Training-Workshop on January 29 to 31, 2020 at the MGB Central Office in Quezon City.

As part of the continuing MGB Network Enhancement Project, the training-workshop was spearheaded by the Information Systems Group of the Planning, Policy and International Affairs Division (PPIAD).

Personnel from the PPIAD; Mineral Economics, Information and Publication Division (MEIPD); Mining Tenements Management Division (MTMD) and Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) of the MGB Central Office and IT Specialists from Regional Offices attended the activity.

During the opening program, Ms. Mary Ann Villegas of the PPIAD welcomed the participants to the training-workshop and reminded them that the MGB envisions a fully automated and centralized information system by 2023 as it had already completed Phase I of the MGB Network Enhancement Project by deploying the infrastructure and network development. Servers, network equipment, software subscriptions and licenses relating to the endeavor have been emplaced in the Central Office and Regional Offices.

At the workshop, the participants prepared for Phase II of the MGB Network Enhancement Project which is the Implementation of the Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). AD DS are the foundation for distributed networks built on Windows Server operating systems that use servers as domain controllers. AD DS provide secure, structured, hierarchical data storage for objects in a network such as users, computers, printers, and services. With this service in place, administrators can easily manage and store information about resources from a network as well as application data in a distributed database. Also, assigning and enforcing security policies for all computers and installing or updating software can be implemented with ease with AD DS.

Mr. Jeffrey Ledesma, ICT Officer of the PPIAD, discussed the following objectives of the training-workshop:
• review and verification of the deployment of Microsoft Office 365 accounts;
• review of the AD DS training in 2018 at NTT Data Philippines as a refresher for all participants especially the newly hired IT Specialists;
• completion of all the requirements for AD DS including formulation of the initial policies, Organizational Unit and Domain User master lists, and an Inventory of software licenses and subscriptions; and
• presentation of the final timeline of AD DS deployment to the management.

During the workshop proper, Mr. Julius Broñoso, Information Systems Analyst of the PPIAD, presented the basic information and practical functions of the AD DS. Mr. Dan Arvi Moredo, a Microsoft-Certified Instructor from NTT Data Philippines gave a lecture on current best practices for AD DS in the IT industry for large-scale organizations. He also gave a demonstration on how to install AD DS on a Microsoft Server which will act as domain controllers. He demonstrated further the creation of a new forest for the Central Office setup and join Regional Offices’ servers to this forest. A forest in AD DS is a collection of trees (servers / domain controllers) that share a common global catalog, directory schema, logical structure, and directory configuration. The participants designed the Organizational Unit master list for the AD DS. An Organizational Unit in AD DS is a hierarchal representation of different groups (such as regions, divisions and sections), users, computers and even other devices within MGB that must be made into objects so that roles and policies can be assigned accordingly. A Domain User master list that included detailed user information with their official email accounts was also created. Similarly, the group decided on the computer naming convention to be used in the bureau which will greatly help in the recognition of devices in the network. A timeline was also crafted showing in detail a realistic step-by-step implementation of the AD DS.

On the last day of the workshop, Ms. Socorro C. Oquendo, OIC-Chief of PPIAD, delivered a message about the importance of the task ahead. She also emphasized that the management is fully committed to the vision of an MGB capable of serving its stakeholders with the best technological advancements available.