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Hour 8. Understanding and Configuring Active Directory Domain Services

What You’ll Learn in This Hour:

To most network professionals who work with Microsoft server platforms, the Active Directory approach to managing users, network devices, and other network resources has become second nature. However, the Active Directory logical structure was only introduced several years ago with the introduction of Windows 2000 Server, which radically changed how an administrator structures a Microsoft network. Such concepts as resource domains, account domains, and the master domain model were replaced by a true hierarchical directory services structure called Active Directory.

Windows Server 2008 also embraces Active Directory as its directory service. Active Directory functionality has been expanded in Windows Server 2008, and the domain hierarchy component of Active Directory is now referred to as Active Directory Domain Services. In this hour, we look at the basics of Active Directory Domain Services, its installation, its use, and the Server Manager Active Directory snap-ins.

Understanding Active Directory Domain Services

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the directory service (a directory service is a database of information that is arranged in a top-down hierarchical manner) for your Windows network; it provides a hierarchical structure for domain management and implementation. The Active Directory provides the namespace for your domains and catalogs users, groups of users, computers, printers, and even security policies in a centralized database that is replicated among domain controllers on the network. Each item, such as a user or a group, is referred to as an Active Directory object.

Because Active Directory provides a hierarchical, treelike structure for your domains, sharing resources throughout the domain structure is made easier. And adding new domains to the tree is very straightforward, making the directory service provided by Active Directory highly scaleable.

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