System administration is a great challenge no matter whether there are several computers or several thousand computers in a network.
Monitoring objects on the network (users, computers, etc.), related rights or bans and their updating is not possible without the use of dedicated systems (tools). These systems are called “Directory services”.
The most popular directory service is Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). This service is integrated in Windows server and it is not necessary to have a special licence.
Active Directory is a data base that registers all system "objects" - users, computers, security groups, services, etc. AD DS serves as a central place where all rights that an individual network object has are defined and updated.
For the purposes of easier administration the objects in AD DS are arranged in containers, organization units (OU). Group policy is then massively applied to grouped objects and it is used to define thousands of setups, locally on the computer, and on the network.
The server where AD DS base is located is known as domain controller. To ensure high accessibility and redundancy there are usually two or more domain controllers installed on the network, and each of them has a copy of Active Directory base.
The presence of AD DSes on the network is a prerequisite for a great number of other services (for instance Microsoft Exchange server).
Centralized user account and IT equipment management
Control and setup of user rights according to business organization
The basis for implementation of a great number of business applications and solutions
Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services
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