Im developing web application with quite complex configuration UI. It contains multiple configuration scopes, for example in global scope you can configure host setting, logging and also create sub-areas etc. Each sub-area has its own set of settings, like services, users etc.
Currently, when admin logs in, he sees global scope with global navigation.
When he wants to perform some admin tasks on sub-areas, he opens sub-areas list, clicks on it and he is redirected to sub-area main page.
Sub-area navigation replaces global navigation bar, so all actions regarding this sub-area are scoped. If he wants to go back, he can click 'back to global' in navigation and scope will be changed to global.
Also, some areas, can have sub-ares. The configuration model resembles directory structure.
This way of things confuses users, and also adds some technical complexity to manage scopes for each request.
Are there any guidelines for complex admin interfaces, or maybe someone can suggest how to improve it or show some examples?
PS. Im aware of this question about two different admin sections inside the same site?. This is a bit different stuff.
PS2. The configuration model resembles a Team Foundation Server with multiple projects. Where TFS intance is global scope and project - sub-area. But their UI is confusing me too.
Edit: Here are Global and Sub-Area mockups(sorry got trial version) Global: