Title: Active Directory Explained
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.”
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
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
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
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: