Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory spotlight

R2 comes with several new features for Active Directory in areas like backup, recovery and data management. Check out which enhancements are likely to have the biggest impact.

A key aspect of Windows Server 2008 R2 is an improved Active Directory, but IT professionals and administrators have one question: Will the changes and new features make their lives easier?

One area of Windows 2008 R2 Active Directory (AD) that has seen some major enhancements is the backup and recovery process. In addition to having full access to all resources, users are looking to ensure that they have the ability to recover any objects that were accidentally deleted while keeping those objects in their original states.

AD's new Recycle Bin feature was created to allow administrators to easily reverse accidental deletion -- but is the object they retrieve in working condition? The long-term usability of the Recycle Bin remains up for debate in the IT world because of the uncertainty regarding whether it will truly save customers time and money.

The functionality of AD-integrated applications is another central focus among IT shops. The Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) could be a significant addition to AD as it's designed to make managing user accounts or groups over more than one domain less complicated for administrators. IT pros could also find that AD Web Services, Federation Services and Rights Management Services in R2 will play a big role going forward, and as with other recent Windows releases, PowerShell integration should continue to rise in AD.

Overall, Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory has a lot to offer over previous editions. Still, IT pros and administrators should make sure they are well-read on all of AD's features and tools prior to implementing R2 in their environments.

Impact of new AD features in your environment

Take a look at this Windows Server Notebook post to see how active Directory Recycling Bin and ADAC can make managing and maintaining your IT environment easier and how it impacts daily jobs and application management.

Which Active Directory R2 features will simplify your tasks?

This tip provides the tools that will make management and configuration tasks less demanding for AD administrators in Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as those that aren't as useful. Getting information on these features will allow you make educated decisions about whether AD in R2 can make your job easier.

Active Directory draws attention of IT pros

Respondents to our 2009 Windows Purchasing Intentions Survey said that Active Directory changes were extremely important to them. Learn who the respondents consisted of and which features made the biggest impressions.

Relying on Active Directory Recycle Bin can cause user problems

If you're an administrator and looking for cheap backup, Windows Server R2 AD Recycle Bin is a good option as it eliminates pricey third-party tools right? Not so fast -- there are functionality problems with Recycle Bin that you should be aware of before relying on it.

What does the Active Directory Recycle Bin really provide?

Hear from our Windows Server 2008 R2 expert, as he explains exactly what the AD Recycle Bin does and doesn't do. Included you'll see why the Recycle Bin is a good feature, but also why administrators may not want to count on it in an emergency.

What Active Directory Web Services can do for managing your applications

Producing and maintaining AD-integrated applications can prove to be difficult at times for developers. But AD Web Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 can also solve a lot of this headache. See why AD Web Services are important and which applications rely on them.

What IT pros want in Active Directory in Windows Server 2008 R2

IT pros think there's a great deal of room for improvement in AD for Windows Server 2008 R2, but which areas should you be concerned about? Take a look at the features and tools that some believe Microsoft missed on in AD.

More more technical advice, news and commentary on working with Microsoft Active Directory, visit SearchWindowsServer.com.

This was first published in April 2010

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