What is Active Directory? Where does this word come from? Active means full of life or vigilant, and Directory means index. So if we make the combination, then we will understand that it refers to a directory that is vigilant and full of life.
Actually, Active Directory is an application which is the most important part of the Server Operating System. If we say that the Active Directory is the backbone of the Server, or that Active Directory is the lifeline of the Server Operating System, we wouldn’t be wrong. Active Directory is the application through which all other applications perform their tasks. Active Directory is not useable only for making organizational units, creating users and implementing policies. Through it many other applications can be run. Let’s look at all the applications for which Active Directory is either a necessity or an integral part.
Creation of Virtual Private Network VPN
Through Active Directory you can make a Virtual Private Network in which only authorized users can access the Server from all over the world. Such types of networks are often prepared for marketing staffs or sometimes for account and IT staffs of an organization. If you don’t have Active Directory, then having the servers is useless, as we can’t manage the work and will obviously not be able to facilitate our staff member.
ADDITIONAL DOMAIN OR BACK UP
We need to have a backup of our server, because if it crashes and we have a backup domain, we don’t lose work time. If Active Directory is already installed on the Server, then we can make a backup machine or additional domain. This will help us deal with any problems that arise.
DHCP(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
Sometimes a situation arises in which a new company is furnishing its startup and has several computers. It is very difficult for the administrator to go to each PC and configure the networking settings one by one. It’s also very difficult for him to remember the network and protocol names which he has assigned. Active Directory solves this problem. Through the DHCP application, Active Directory allocates the network and protocols automatically to all the computers which are joined to the network.
When we create a user, we also have to make a profile to give him space on the server to save his work and data. Active Directory makes things easier for the user by providing space on the server machine.
There is another term you need to know called Disk Quota. In this application we allow the user specific space on the server. Due to this, the user can only utilize that space, not more than he has been allocated. This process is also done through the policy implemented through Active Directory.
RIS/WDS(Remote Installation System/ Window Deployment Services)
When a company starts up and furnishes its office, there is a need to install the operating system on each computer. This is once again a great headache for the administrator to go to each PC and install operating systems one by one. It takes a very long time to do that. This problem is also made very simple with Active Directory. Active Directory can install operating systems on almost 72 PCs at a time through Remote Installation Services, which also is known as Window Deployment Services.
Active Directory is the lifeline of a server, and its good maintenance is the lifeline of any organization. Administrators should be vigilant in their work and should know the basics as illustrated in the guide “How to Install Active Directory in Server 2008.”
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