Active Directory (AD) is a technology created by Microsoft that provides a variety of network services, including:
• LDAP-like directory services
• Kerberos-based authentication
• DNS-based naming and other network information
Using the same database, for use primarily in Windows environments, Active Directory also allows administrators to assign policies, deploy software, and apply critical updates to an organization. Active Directory stores information and settings in a central database. Active Directory networks can vary from a small installation with a few hundred objects, to a large installation with millions of objects.
There is a common misconception that Active Directory provides software distribution. Software distribution is run by a separate service that uses additional proprietary schema attributes that work in conjunction with the LDAP protocol. Active Directory does not automate software distribution, but provides a mechanism by which other services can provide software distribution.
Active Directory is a directory service used to store information about the network resources across a domain and also centralize the network.
An 'Active Directory' (AD) structure is a hierarchical framework of objects. The objects fall into three broad categories: resources (e.g., printers), services (e.g., email), and users (user accounts and groups). The AD provides information on the objects, organizes the objects, controls access and sets security.
Each object represents a single entity — whether a user, a computer, a printer, or a group — and its attributes. Certain objects can also be containers of other objects. An object is uniquely identified by its name and has a set of attributes — the characteristics and information that the object can contain — defined by a schema, which also determines the kind of objects that can be stored in the AD.
Each attribute object can be used in several different schema...