Introduction to Active Directory

Before you start

Objectives: learn the difference between Workgroup and a Domain.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: workgroup, domain, active directory, objects, structure, trust, organizational unit, site, example.

Workgroup Versus Domain

When we create a collection of computers that are managed locally, we call this a Workgroup. So, the basic thing to know about Workgroups is that every computer in a Workgroup is using its local database for management. Each computer holds information about its users and resources locally.

The second model for administering our computers is Domain methodology. In Domain model we use an Active Directory (AD) database for administration, which is located on central server called Domain Controller. A domain is a collection of network resources that share a common directory database and security policies. The domain is the basic administrative unit of an Active Directory structure. A domain allows us to group computers running NT 2000 and later or even non-Microsoft operating systems. With a domain we get centralized administration and security management.

For more information about Active Directory, please visit What is AD article in Server Fundamentals section.