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Title: Active Directory Explained Date: 20.04.2012. Student: Marina Novakovic Subject: Information and Communications Technologies If you’re one of those self-confessed non-techie types of person, you may be among those who are at a loss if it’s your first time to hear the term, “Active Directory.” The Description Learning this particular term can be a bit confusing at first. Initially used with Windows 2000, it’s now used on Microsoft Windows-based servers and computers and is simply a type of directory structure. In other words, it helps store vital information regarding the domains and networks of servers and computers. Formerly, in the older version of Microsoft, it was referred to as NTDS or NT Directory Service. Typically, you may learn that an Active Directory, or AD as it is also called, is used for information online. Those who know this well understand its beneficial various features or functions. Some of these include the provision of pertinent info and helpful organization on objects to simplify access and retrieval, letting the administrator set up directory security, and provides access to administrators and end users. The Features at a Glance To be more specific, here are the things you may expect to have with an AD. One: It actually gives support features for the global directories, particularly for the X.500 standard. Two: It has the capability for a security purposes extension to the Web. Three: It provides support for the LDAP, or the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. Actually, it gives support to LDAPv3 and LDAPv2. With the LDAP, the AD then becomes widely accessible to applications dealing with query and management. Four: It is also referred to as a hierarchical organization or framework of objects which provides a single point of access. This is to help reduce certain errors and redundancy of information. This single point of access is actually for system administration purposes like clients, servers, and more. The objects can be categorized into two broad parts: The resources and the security principals. For the resources, this may include printers and other objects. Objects can actually be a piece of hardware, settings, or end user. For the security principals, groups and user or computer accounts are included in this category. Five: It has a forward and backward compatible feature. Six: It also provides easier access to vital info as it functions as an object-oriented storage organization.

The Forests, Domains and Trees Once again, objects may be a piece of hardware, end user, or settings. The settings are usually done by an administrator. Now all these objects are contained in a common directory that is referred to as a domain. Now the domain has stored info about the objects that are in that particular domain. When you speak of a tree, this actually consists of either a single or multiple domains. A forest, on the other hand, is a collection of trees. And a forest also represents what is known to be the outermost boundary. This boundary is where you can find the existence of the computers, users, groups, and other objects. The forest is actually the security boundary for AD. Understanding this part, you may now see that the AD framework holds all objects that can be seen at various levels – with the forest as the top structure. There is still more about Active Directory that you have to understand if you’re really into learning this. Don’t worry. There are many online sites where you can get more information with a quick click of the mouse. References I used:

What is Active Directory