Microsoft created Active Directory as a specialized software solution to help security management teams and administrators of Windows domain networks to manage and deliver network changes, as well as system or security policy modifications to all machines linked to the domain, or to designated subsets of users or endpoints. The first version of Active Directory was published with Windows Server 2000, although the most recent version is compatible with Windows Server 2019.
Network administrators can gain high-level management over a network’s domains, objects, and users by using Active Directory. Administrators can group users, assign or remove security and access privileges depending on group membership, and keep track of access controls at all levels of the company. Network administrators can also deploy changes in an organized and streamlined manner using Active Directory’s unique methodology for structuring network objects, rather than having to change each object individually.
The hierarchical structure of items in an AD network is defined by forests, trees, and domains. These are the logical divisions that are used to categorize items.
Users can get information on network objects and endpoints (certification status, authentication status, and so on) as well as services from AD. To comprehend the inner workings of the Active Directory software tool, we must first grasp how the tool defines and treats various network objects.
The AD schema includes User, Group, Contact, Computer, Shared Folder, Printer, and Organizational Unit objects, as well as a collection of descriptive characteristics for each object. User Object attributes, for example, include information such as the user’s name, phone number, and address.
Other securities and networking protocols used by Active Directory include
Active Directory Domain Services is a set of network services provided by the software (AD DS). Active Directory delivers critical security services in the form of AD DS, in addition to facilitating the management of groups of network objects. Among the services offered are:
Active Directory offers a number of functional and business advantages, including:
Trusts are rules in Active Directory that allow users in one domain to access resources in another domain. There are a variety of trust rules that provide users with differing levels of access and rights.
One-way or two-way trusts exist. Users from Domain A can access Domain B, but users from Domain B cannot access Domain A in a one-way trust.
There are two types of trusts: transitive and intransitive. In the forest, a transitive trust can be extended to more than two domains, but an intransitive trust is a one-way trust between only two domains.
A forest trust is one that covers the entire forest, is transitive, and can be one-way or two-way. The network administrator sets the default forest trust boundary, which is applied to all newly created domains automatically.
In conclusion, the fundamental Active Directory service is used to verify users’ identities and restrict access to network resources. A domain controller is a server that runs AD DS. For resiliency, most Windows domain networks have two or more domain controllers: one primary and one or more backup domain controllers. Users can authenticate to a domain controller during login and are granted access to specific resources based on administrative policies.
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