Active Directory

One of the most helpful computer software developed by Microsoft, Active Directory (also known as NT Directory Service) offers various services that are important to data management and data security. This software was introduced in 1999 and was launched with Windows 2000 Server program. To improve the functionalities of this computer tool, Microsoft introduced the revised version of the directory with the launch of Windows Server 2003. Additional developments in the program were developed and introduced in Windows Server 2008 as well as Windows Server 2008 R2. To learn more about this program, let us have a closer glance at the structure of Active Directory.


What is Active Directory? This computer software is one of the efficient and reliable programs developed by Microsoft, which features different services like Kerberos-based authentication, DNS-based naming as well as LDAP-like directory services. Technically speaking, the program is a logical grouping of computer systems and computer users within a single domain, which is monitored by domain controllers.

The structure of this directory service has three categories namely, users, services and resources. The objects in the directory are categorized in these levels. The objects have various sets of attributes that were identified by the directory. The attributes are important to the proper storage of the objects.


Active Directory has three levels, the forest, the trees and the domains. The forest is the highest level, which represents the rules and attributes of each object in the directory. Below the forest is the tree, which is composed of various domains that are connected in a transitive trust hierarchy. Next to the tree are the domains, which are categorized into name structures.

Under the domains are the objects that are classified into various containers known as Organizational Units. These units are very important to administrators to use the computer software easily. To help administrators in maintaining computer networks, the directory also features sites, which are very helpful in monitoring network traffic.

To avoid problems concerning data security, information stored in Active Directory is secured in several domain controllers. For the convenience of administrators, this computer program is integrated with different servers like TCP/IP and DNS.

Additional Information About the Directory

To ensure efficient management of database, Active Directory is featured in Windows 2000, which features the JET Blue-based Extensible Storage Engine. Additionally, the directory features several roles associated with Flexible Single Master Operations like Schema Master, Domain Naming Master, PDC Emulator, RID Master as well as Infrastructure Master.