Jan 13

Explanation of Active Directory in Simple and Easy Words

Active Directory


Active Directory also referred to “AD” is a Microsoft Software that organizes and provides access to information in an operating system’s directory. IT is a database for users, computers, groups and the other objects which comprise of a domain and a part of a forest of domains.

It provides a centralized control providing authentication and authorization for users and resources. Active Directory is similar to a telephone directory. Let’s take an example of your “Contact” app on your phone and consider it as the Active Directory of your phone. The application itself is your Active Directory. Your individual contact would be the “objects” and the email address, phone number, address for each of your contact would be “values” within your Active Directory. And here, the “objects” doesn’t only mean to your contacts and users but it can also contain “group objects” such as your computers, printers etc.

The components of Active Directory are arranged into a logical hierarchical grouping. Active Directory uses authentication and authorization for those users who are part of the active directory network where the information is saved. It is used to arrange, store the information, provides access and permission-based on the information.

Purpose of Active Directory

  • Centralized Storage
    • Creates, updates and deletes from one place
    • Active Directory stores all the reviews, reports, controls and administration in one place that provides automated workflow. Proper visibility, management, reporting and auditing capabilities can significantly ensure systems integrity.
  • Limit Access and Administration Privileges
    • Local Administrator can limit the domain user accounts by setting a policy to the users, groups and computers.
    • Active Directory helps set a fine-grain policy to users and can be customised according to the need of the organization.
  • Automation
    • Centralizing all reports, controls and administration in one place, AD can provide a database that can deliver automated workflows for alerting and helping to solve problems.
    • Active Directory can automate Active Directory tasks without taking the control out of humans by way of a customizable approval-based workflow system.
  • Remote Access
    • You can manage your organization’s Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) from any computer within the network if necessary.
  • Replication of Data
    • AD DS provides built-in replication and redundancy: if one Domain Controller (DC) fails, another DC picks up the load.
  • Cut Costs
    • Active Directory is easier to scale up or down based on the business requirement reducing the cost of buying additional hardware or software for the company.
    • It streamlines the operation of an organization and saves money in the long run.

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