An Active Directory is a service that provides a hierarchical structure of users, computers or objects within a network for quick and easy access and manipulation. It provides a central platform of a directory service which has a primary function of authenticating and authorizing users and computers in a windows domain.
Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is one of the most utilized and under managed systems and are used from small scale to large organizations. While this software is globally used and adopted let’s look at some of the importance of Active Directory and why they are an integral part of a properly functioning organization.
- Centralizes Resource
Active Directory provides centralized storage for all of the organisation’s resources such as user, computer, network equipment, servers etc. Other users on the domain can access the files that reside in AD.
- Administrative Control
An administrator can grant control of machines and users for Active Directory. They can implement and control specific settings, can grant certain right and privileges to users on the network.
A network or system administrator can view any changes or any anomalies in the network. Only authenticated users who have access control to objects can log into the directory. An administrator can actively monitor for any potential problems, security breaches, spikes in bad user account password attempts.
- Single Sign-On
Active Directory provides a single sign-on (SSO) for users to access network resources. The user is identified and once authenticated, the user account can gain access to other servers without having to create a separate username and password.
With Active Directory, an admin can scale and descale the demand of network devices according to the need. They can scale objects, users, computers. Depending on the need of the organization they can either be scaled up or down.
- Increase Productivity
The use of Active Directory drastically reduces the administration time and effort to operate daily while significantly improving user productivity. It reduces the amount of administration time and effort to maintain the network.
- Remote Access
With Active Directory and remote desktop administration, a system or network administrator can remotely view and manager another device in the network. It provides functionality to perform system updates, authorize server changes and install or update components.
For a large organization where there are hundreds of users, computers and objects, managing those are tedious task. With Active Directory automation, provisioning or de-provisioning can be achieved and ensures optimal utilization of resources with less human intervention. Although, administrators should automate those tasks which could yield maximum benefit out of it.
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