Active Directory (AD) is a Windows service that makes it easy to work with interconnected, complex, and diverse network resources in a unified way.
Initially, Active Directory was used on Windows 2000 Server and redesigned with additional features in Windows Server 2008. Active Directory provides a common interface for organizing and maintaining information related to resources associated with various network directories. Directories can be system-specific (such as Windows OS) application-specific or network resources such as printers. Active Directory serves as the only facility for quick access to data for all users and control of user access based on security policy.
A technical explanation for the active directory
Active Directory provides the following network services:
⦁ Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) – an open standard used to access other directory services;
⦁ Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security and Kerberos-based authentication services;
⦁ Hierarchical and internal organizational data storage in a centralized location for faster access and better network management;
⦁ Availability of data on multiple simultaneous notification servers provides better scalability.
Each node in the tree structure is called an object and connects network resources as users or services. As a database theme concept, the Active Directory schema is used to define an attribute and type for a particular Active Directory object, which facilitates the search for related network resources based on specific attributes. For example, if a user needs to use a colour printer, the object attribute can be set with the right word, so it can be easier to find the entire network and determine the location of the object based on that keyword.
The domain consists of objects stored in a special, secure and connected tree structure. A domain can be hosted on multiple servers – each capable of storing multiple objects. In this case, the organizational data is stored in different places so that a single domain can have multiple sites for one domain. Each object can have several domain controllers for archiving. Multiple domains can be linked to form a tree structure that shares a common schema, configuration, and global directory (used to search across domains).
Installing an Active Directory on Windows Server 2012
Installing an active directory
⦁ We open Server Manager from the taskbar.
⦁ From the Server Manager Dashboard, we select Add roles and features.
⦁ This will launch the role installer.
⦁ We choose Role-based or features-based and choose Next.
⦁ We choose Next.
⦁ From Server Roles, we select Active Directory Domain Services.
If a message appears asking you to install a Feature, click Next.
⦁ We look at the information from the AD DS tab and select Next.
⦁ From Confirm installation selections, we review the installation and select Install.
Starting the server
⦁ We click on Start> Control Panel.
⦁ From Services, right-click Remote Registry and open Properties.
⦁ From the drop-down menu, select Automatic.
⦁ From Service Status, we select Start.
The service will start.
Configure the active directory
Once the DS is installed, the AD server role will need to be configured for your domain.
⦁ We open Open the Server Manager from the bar.
⦁ We open Notifications Pane and select the Notifications icon from the top of Server Manager. We choose to Promote this server to a domain controller.
⦁ From Deployment Configuration, we select Add a new forest from the radio button. We select a domain and click Next.
⦁ We select the Domain and Forest functional level and enter the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password from the password field.