We are looking at implementing Active Directory on our network alongside an upgrade to 2000. I'm very excited about this but I still don't fully understand the concept of Active Directory! Every Web site I read describes it in very vague terms - vague to me at least! What IS Active Directory - so it is a centralized directory, but where exactly is the information held? How is it entered into the directory - applications etc. I need some tangible explanations rather than vague descriptions of how the directory services work.
Active Directory is a directory service -- a way to store and look up information about people and things in your organization. It's also used for managing policies about groups -- what users have access to what resources, how specific classes of user accounts behave -- for replication between domains (so that one domain's directory will echo another), for globalized authentication (so a user can sign in anywhere in the domain and get the same desktop and resource access), and so on.
The information in AD is held on the domain controller for each particular domain, in a database that's kept hidden from normal access. Most of the information is entered into AD through applications that are written specifically to make use of it -- for instance, Exchange Server uses the AD user account list to create its list of mailboxes.
Microsoft has a very complete breakdown of everything that goes into AD on their site:
Dig Deeper on Windows client management
Related Q&A from Serdar Yegulalp
This week, our expert answers the question of how to get DVD data off a disc, even if the user's PC doesn't have an optical drive. Continue Reading
This week, our expert answers a question on how to connect a phone or tablet to a USB drive with a micro-USB connector. Continue Reading
Open source and free suites such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice could save organizations money, but not effort in comparison with Microsoft Office. Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.