NASA Consolidated Active Directory (NCAD) Migration Project at HQ
Phase II of the NASA HQ Active Directory migration is underway and scheduled for completion in early September 2009. All remaining HQ workstations will be migrated to the new NCAD. Implementation of the NCAD project is a collaborative effort between the NCAD Center POC’s, Agency Project Management, and multiple contractors. A high-level schedule is available.
Phase I was completed in February 2009. Almost 900 Windows workstations and their associated users were migrated to the new NCAD. To prepare for this migration, some HQ employees received a new Agency user ID (AUID) (login name) during the HQ AUID Renaming Project. The implementation of an AUID was the first step toward a simplified sign-on environment, improved mobility (i.e., while visiting another Center), and one milestone to Smart Card enablement.
What is NCAD?
The NASA Consolidated Active Directory (NCAD) migration is an Agency-wide project to consolidate individual directories at each Center into one Agency directory. NCAD is a directory structure used to store and manage information and data about networks and domains. NCAD accounts are the domains that you automatically access when logging in to your desktop, and enable you to access servers, applications like e-mail, and network resources such as printers.
NASA is currently migrating to a single, Agency-wide Active Directory environment so that every NASA user’s log-in process will be identical. For NASA as a whole, this consistency will help to create a simplified desktop experience and to improve security management.
Benefits of NCAD
NCAD has several purposes and benefits:
- NCAD paves the way for the use of “smart cards.” When all infrastructure requirements have been met, you will login to your computer by sliding your NASA badge in a computer card reader and entering a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- NCAD helps centralize management of computers across the entire Agency. This allows NASA to deploy common policies and settings and to verify that you have access to Agency resources as needed.
- Once implemented at all NASA centers, NCAD will allow you to login to systems from any NASA Center and gain full access to your files.