What is Active Directory Services? | Blog

Aug 24
Active Directory Services

What is Active Directory Services?

Active Directory Services

Active Directory Services (ADS) is a container of information within the Microsoft Server platform. It contains all the information about hardware, software, users, groups, computers in the Microsoft domain. This repository is accessed by users, computers, and applications through the network. This access can be for different purposes. For example: authentication, configuration data storage etc. 

Active Directory is developed by Microsoft and is a directory service. It was first introduced in Windows 2000 Server and has been upgraded in each Windows Server operating system. Active Directory Services (ADS) actually is a directory service which creates organisational divisions which are called domains. Users and computers are authorised and authenticated by Active Directory Services (ADS). Security policies are assigned and enforced by Active Directory Services (ADS). Also updates and installing software can be done by Active Directory Services (ADS).

Domains are hosted by at least one server called the “domain controller”. For fault tolerance and load balancing purposes we can have two or more domain controllers for each domain and data among them is replicated. You should configure static IP addresses on computer that want to be a domain controller. Domain controllers cannot obtain IP address from DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) servers. To have a new domain or to add a new one to an existing domain, you should install the Active Directory Domain Services role on a Windows server and after installing the role you can run the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard.

For installing the role in Server Manager, in the Manage menu, choose Add Roles And Features. Click next. Leave the Role based/ Feature based installation option selected. Click next, in this page select the server that you want to be domain controller. In the Select Server Roles page, choose the Active Directory Domain Services role. A dialog box opens to add the features that are required. To accept the dependencies click Add Features. After clicking next, a page with information about the role will be shown. After clicking next, you have the following options:

  • Restart the destination Server automatically if desired: The server will be restarted automatically after the installation is completed.
  • Export configuration Setting: An XML script will be created that documents the procedures that performed by the wizard. You can use this XML file in Power Shell during the process of installing Active Directory Services Roles on another server for its configuration.
  • Specify an alternate source path: you can choose the location of an image file. This file contains the software that is needed for the installation of selected roles and features.

Active Directory Services (ADS) is covered in depth within our Microsoft Server Solutions Associate 2012 R2 and Microsoft Server Solutions Associate 2016.

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