Active Directory (AD) for Windows Server - bellmatec (2023)

Active Directory (AD) is a directory serviceMicrosoft.Using Active Directory, networks can be simulated according to the actual company structures and permissions, and access to network resources can be centrally managed. AD is part of the broader area of ​​Identity and Access Management (IAM) and can be enabled with single sign-on (SSO) orMobile Device Management (MDM)to be added. as partBusiness mobilityThe Active Directory strategy is often used for mobile access to corporate data.

How does Active Directory work?

The foundation of Active Directory is the domain controller. All activities that the user wants to perform on the network are verified by this central control point and authorized according to the user's identity. To correctly identify the user and allow him to access the resources intended for him, Active Directory searches the content.

Active Directory stores information about network objects (such as users, groups, systems, networks, applications, digital assets, and more) and how they relate to each other. This database has a hierarchical structure and individual records are stored as objects in the database. These objects are divided into two categories: Accounts and Resources. The properties of these objects are stored as attributes. In addition to user accounts, accounts also include group and computer accounts. Assets are versions of printers and files, but you can also map classic assets such as rooms or company vehicles here.

For example, if a new user is created, it is stored in AD. This user can then be added to groups as a member and thus gain access to devices, servers and applications. This allows you to model the structure of the company by departments, special areas and related approvals.

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How are active directories built?

Active directories can be divided into several basic components:

  • Szema

    What is the Active Directory schema?

    The ad scheme is a set of rules that apply to all listings in the directory. It defines object types, classes, attributes, and attribute syntax.

  • configuration

    What is AD setup?

    The AD structure can be found in the configuration.

  • sector

    What are domains in the Windows directory service?

    The demarcation of individual corporate divisions takes place through the so-called sector. Each department is assigned a domain, e.g. "Accounting", "Management", "Production". These domains can be hierarchically divided into so-called sub-domains. In large organizations, there are often multiple departments. The first domain (the company itself, so to speak) is called the root domain.

    Security and governance guidelines can then be applied to these areas. In this way, you can deny or allow a user to access from one area to another.

  • resources

    What are Active Directory resources?

    A system or network administrator assigns resources such as computers, servers, printers, USB devices, cameras, and scanners to users and network participants through Microsoft Active Directory. Resources can be specifically assigned and permissions assigned to each user and each user group.

  • management

    What does the administrator do?

    AD allows the administrator to centrally manage user permissions for individual devices or objects. Network resources can be enabled or disabled for users. Therefore, by default, only network administrators have write access to the directory service.

    Managed resources include, but are not limited to, disk space, directory access rights, usage rights for applications, network printers, peripherals, and other network services.

  • organizational units (OUs)

    What is an organizational unit in Active Directory?

    Organizational units (OUs) are what are known as containers where users, groups, devices, and other organizational units are organized. These modules are created and managed by administrators to logically organize objects and enforce group policies.

    Each domain can contain its own organizational unit. However, OUs cannot have separate namespaces because each user or object must be unique within the domain. For example, a user account with the same username cannot be created more than once.

The shape and configuration are replicated across all domains in the forest. Domain information and policies are shared only within that domain.

How does Active Directory authentication work?

The core service in Active Directory is Domain Services (AD DS), which stores directory information and manages user interaction with the domain. AD DS controls access when a user logs on to a device or tries to connect to a server over the network. AD DS controls which users have access to each resource. For example, an administrator usually has a different level of access to data than an end user.

Other Microsoft products, such as Exchange Server and SharePoint Server, rely on AD DS to provide access to resources. The server hosting AD DS is a domain controller.

Main features of Active Directory Domain Services

Active Directory (AD) for Windows Server - bellmatec (1)To coordinate the interconnected components, Active Directory Domain Services uses a multi-level layout of domains, trees, and forests.

A tree is one or more grouped domains. The tree structure uses a contiguous namespace to organize domains into a logical hierarchy. Trees can be thought of as trust relationships where a secure connection or trust is shared between two domains. Multiple domains can be trusted, with one domain trusting another and another trusting a third domain. Due to the hierarchical nature of this arrangement, the first domain can implicitly trust the third domain without the need for explicit trust.

A forest is a group of trees. A forest is defined by a schema and consists of shared directories, directory schemas, application information, and domain configurations.

What are the benefits of Active Directory for businesses?

Using Active Directory has benefits for both user management and employee productivity. Within the corporate network, employees have access to all assigned resources through one central link - Windows login - from different computers. Thanks to this, the employee's work is independent of location and device. For example, employees can access files during meetings via a tablet or laptop without having to tediously upload them to the device first.

For IT administrators, Active Directory offers the distinct advantage that all objects - that is, users, computers, printers, file folders, etc. - can be managed centrally. This greatly simplifies the management of all objects in the network. When hiring a new employee or buying a new device, access rights can be assigned in a simple and central way, without the administrator having to set rights for each device.

Active Directory handles the network structure and technically replicates the organization with all rights and permissions.

Does access authorization also work on mobile devices?

The coronavirus crisis has particularly shown that mobile or remote work is an important part of the modern world of work. Companies often face the problem that employees still need access to corporate documents without losing their power structure. In the past, this has presented many companies with major challenges. VPN connections were often awkwardly set up or file emails sent back and forth.

Meanwhile, companies have come up with various solutions that allow companies to work from anywhere. Theio:drive software from bellmatecit has the added advantage of supporting Active Directory. Existing access rights are taken over by the application. Employees can work from home and have the same privileges as on the computer in the office.

Active Directory history

In 1999, Microsoft first introduced a new directory service, Active Directory. A year later AD was released with Windows 2000 Server. Since then, the service has been continuously improved with each new version of Windows Server.

Important AD development

One of the most important updates came with Windows Server 2003. With this update, Microsoft allowed administrators to add the building blocks of a forest, as well as edit and relocate domains within forests. The only downside: domains in Windows Server 2000 do not support the newer AD updates introduced in Server 2003.

The Active Directory Federations Service (AD FS) was introduced in Windows Server 2008. Additionally, Microsoft renamed the domain management directory to AD DS, and the term AD became a generic term for supported directory services.

Starting from Windows Server 2016, it is possible to migrate Active Dorectoy environments to cloud or hybrid environments. This update also includes various security updates. Among other things, Microsoft added Privileged Access Management (PAM). This tracks access to the object, the type of access granted, and actions taken by the user. PAM added AD Bastion Forests to create an extremely safe and isolated forest environment. Support for Windows Server 2003 devices ended with Windows Server 2016.

Active Directory (AD) for Windows Server - bellmatec (2)In December 2016, Microsoft released Azure AD Connect. Using this service, it was now possible to connect the internal Active Directory system to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). This enabled single sign-on (SSO) for Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365. Azure AD Connect works with Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016.

I like: Gerd Altmann | Pixabay, Microsoft


How do I get Active Directory on Windows Server? ›

Right-click on the Start button and go to Settings > Apps > Manage optional features > Add feature. Now select RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Tools. Finally, select Install then go to Start > Windows Administrative Tools to access Active Directory once the installation is complete.

How do I join a Windows Server to an Active Directory domain? ›

To join a computer to a domain

Navigate to System and Security, and then click System. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings, click Change settings. Under the Computer Name tab, click Change. Under Member of, click Domain, type the name of the domain that you wish this computer to join, and then click OK.

Does Active Directory run on Windows Server? ›

The main Active Directory service is Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), which is part of the Windows Server operating system.

How do I add Active Directory to server Manager? ›

To install AD DS by using Server Manager
  1. In Server Manager, click Manage and click Add Roles and Features to start the Add Roles Wizard.
  2. On the Before you begin page, click Next.
  3. On the Select installation type page, click Role-based or feature-based installation and then click Next.
Apr 28, 2023

Where is Active Directory on a server? ›

The Active Directory data store

The AD database is stored in the NTDS. DIT file located in the NTDS folder of the system root, usually C:\Windows. AD uses a concept known as multimaster replication to ensure that the data store is consistent on all DCs.

What is Windows Server Active Directory? ›

Active Directory (AD) is Microsoft's proprietary directory service. It runs on Windows Server and enables administrators to manage permissions and access to network resources. Active Directory stores data as objects. An object is a single element, such as a user, group, application or device such as a printer.

How do I know if my Windows Server is connected to a domain? ›

Windows (All)
  1. Open Command Prompt. Press Windows Key + R then enter cmd in the Run window that appears. ...
  2. Enter systeminfo | findstr /B "Domain" in the Command Prompt window, and press Enter.
  3. If you are not joined to a domain, you should see 'Domain: WORKGROUP'.
Oct 20, 2020

How do I connect to an Active Directory server remotely? ›

Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers. Right-click the user account that you want to allow remote access, and then click Properties. Click the Dial-in tab, click Allow access, and then click OK.

How do I activate Windows in Active Directory? ›

If the computer isn't joined to your domain, join it to the domain. Sign in to the computer. Open Windows Explorer, right-click Computer, and then select Properties. Scroll down to the Windows activation section, and verify that this client has been activated.

What is the difference between Windows Server domain controller and Active Directory? ›

Active Directory is a framework that manages several Windows server domains. In contrast, a domain controller is a server on Active Directory to authenticate users based on centrally stored data. Each Active Directory forest can have multiple domains.

What are the 3 main functions of Active Directory? ›

The Top 3 major benefits of Active Directory Domain Services are:
  • Centralized resources and security administration.
  • Single logon for access to global resources.
  • Simplified resource location.
Nov 12, 2021

How do I know if Active Directory is installed? ›

Windows 10
  1. Click the windows button and type advanced, it should take you to system properties.
  2. Look under the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings for this entry: Domain: (means you are connected to the campus UOFI Active Directory)
Feb 24, 2015

What are the two primary tools to install the Active Directory role? ›

ADUC vs Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC)

I will briefly mention that there are actually two tools installed when you follow the steps here to add the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows: Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) and the Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC).

What are the 5 roles of Active Directory? ›

Currently in Windows there are five FSMO roles:
  • Schema master.
  • Domain naming master.
  • RID master.
  • PDC emulator.
  • Infrastructure master.
Feb 23, 2023

How do I connect to Active Directory? ›

Join Windows Server an Active Directory domain
  1. Verify that the server resolves the Active Directory domain using the ping command. ...
  2. Open the server manager. ...
  3. Open system properties. ...
  4. Edit system properties. ...
  5. Enter the Active Directory domain name. ...
  6. Enter credentials for a domain account.

How do I manage Windows Active Directory? ›

Use one of the following options to open Active Directory Users and Computers:
  1. Right-click the Start menu, select Run, enter dsa. msc, and click OK.
  2. Use the Windows® search function by clicking on Start and entering dsa. msc.
  3. Click on Server Manager -> Tools and select Active Directory Users and Computers from the menu.
Jun 12, 2020

Do you need an Active Directory server? ›

It's also necessary for managing security authentication because only authorized users (stored in AD as objects) can log on to network computers. Here are some of the benefits of using AD: With Active Directory, it's easy to create and delete user accounts or add another resource to the network.

What is my Active Directory domain name? ›

Select Start > Administrative Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers. In the Active Directory Users and Computers tree, find and select your domain name.

How do I find my server IP or domain? ›

Open your Command Prompt / Power Shell (Windows) or Terminal (Mac OS) Enter nslookup and press enter. Nslookup will list your servers IP address in the section “Non-authoritative answer”.

What is domain name in Windows Server? ›

A Windows Domain is a logical grouping of computers that share common security and user account information. The Domain is used to manage access to a set of network resources for a group of users (applications, printers, etc.).

How to sync users from your Windows Server Active Directory? ›

To synchronize your users, groups, and contacts from the local Active Directory into Azure Active Directory, install Azure Active Directory Connect and set up directory synchronization. In the admin center, select Setup in the left nav. Under Sign-in and security, select Add or sync users to your Microsoft account.

Which command is used to install Active Directory in Windows? ›

Type Start PowerShell and press Enter within the Command Prompt window to open a new Windows PowerShell console window. Type Add-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services and press Enter to install Active Directory Domain Services.

How do I know if my Windows server is activated? ›

How to Check If Windows Is Activated?
  1. On Windows 10 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016, go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation (or run the ms-settings:activation URI command to access the ms-settings quickly)
  2. In Windows 11, open Settings -> System -> Activation.
Jun 27, 2022

Which type of key is needed with Active Directory based activation? ›

ADBA uses the KMS host key for activating clients. Yes, it's still called that name, as the KMS host key is used for both Active Directory-based activation and KMS activation method. The KMS host key can be obtained from Microsoft VLSC.

Does Active Directory run on a domain controller? ›

A domain controller is a type of server that processes requests for authentication from users within a computer domain. Domain controllers are most commonly used in Windows Active Directory (AD) domains but are also used with other types of identity management systems.

What are the two types of Active Directory domain services user accounts? ›

Active Directory has two forms of common security principals: user accounts and computer accounts. These accounts represent a physical entity that is either a person or a computer. A user account also can be used as a dedicated service account for some applications.

Is Azure Active Directory the same as Windows Active Directory? ›

Azure AD is not simply a cloud version of AD as the name might suggest. Although it performs some of the same functions, it is quite different. Azure Active Directory is a secure online authentication store, which can contain users and groups.

What are the 4 types of Microsoft Active Directory? ›

What are the 4 types of Microsoft Active Directory?
  • Active Directory (AD) Microsoft Active Directory (most often referred to as a domain controller) is the de facto directory system used today in most organizations. ...
  • Azure Active Directory (AAD) ...
  • Hybrid Azure AD (Hybrid AAD) ...
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS)
Aug 25, 2019

What are the two main components of Active Directory? ›

The two physical elements of Active Directory are domain controllers and sites.

How does Active Directory work step by step? ›

The main function of Active Directory is to enable administrators to manage permissions and control access to network resources. In Active Directory, data is stored as objects, which include users, groups, applications, and devices, and these objects are categorized according to their name and attributes.

How to check Active Directory in cmd? ›

How to search Active Directory
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type cmd.
  3. At the command prompt, type the command dsquery user parameter . The parameter specifies the parameter to use. For the list of parameters, see the online help for the d squery user command.
Feb 23, 2023

How to test Active Directory Windows? ›

For an Active Directory domain controller check, run the dcdiag command in a Command Prompt window with Administrator privileges. Typing the command by itself gives you a test on the local domain controller.

What application to view Active Directory? ›

Active Directory Explorer (AD Explorer) is an advanced Active Directory (AD) viewer and editor.

What three operating systems run Active Directory services? ›

Active Directory Domain Services run on Windows 2000 and later domain controllers. However, client applications can be written for and run on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

How do I enable Active Directory Users and Computers on Windows Server? ›

Enabling ADUC on Windows 10 version 1803 or below
  1. Open the Control Panel from the Start menu (or press Win-X).
  2. Go to Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off.
  3. Go to Remote Server Administration Tools > Role Administration Tools > AD DS and AD LDS Tools.
  4. Check the AD DS Tools box and click OK.
Jan 30, 2017

How to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 r2 step by step? ›

Install Active Directory
  1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.
  2. From the Server Manager dashboard, select Add roles and features. ...
  3. On the Installation Type screen, select Role-based or features-based and click Next. ...
  4. By default, the current server is selected.
Sep 27, 2018

What command installs Active Directory? ›

  1. Type Start PowerShell and press Enter within the Command Prompt window to open a new Windows PowerShell console window.
  2. Type Add-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services and press Enter to install Active Directory Domain Services.
Sep 13, 2022

What are the two primary tools to Install the Active Directory role? ›

ADUC vs Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC)

I will briefly mention that there are actually two tools installed when you follow the steps here to add the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows: Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) and the Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC).

How do I manage Active Directory users and Computers? ›

Use one of the following options to open Active Directory Users and Computers:
  1. Right-click the Start menu, select Run, enter dsa. msc, and click OK.
  2. Use the Windows® search function by clicking on Start and entering dsa. msc.
  3. Click on Server Manager -> Tools and select Active Directory Users and Computers from the menu.
Jun 12, 2020

How to manage Active Directory users and computer remotely? ›

Remote Active Directory Management

Active Directory can be managed remotely using Microsoft's Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). With RSAT, IT administrators can remotely manage roles and features in Windows Server from any up-to-date PC running Professional or Enterprise editions of Windows.

How to open Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 R2? ›

In the dashboard, from the left menu, click “AD DS.” Right-click the local server (or the server on which you've installed AD) and select Active Directory Administrative Center, as shown in Figure 4-16. From the left menu in ADAC, click on “AD DS.” All AD container objects are displayed.

How do I open Active Directory users and Computers in Windows Server 2012 R2? ›

To open Active Directory Users and Computers, log into a domain controller, and open Server Manager from the Start menu. Now, in the Tools menu in Server Manager, click Active Directory Users and Computers.

How to Install Active Directory in Windows Server 2016 step by step? ›

Installing and Configuring Active Directory – Windows Server 2016
  1. Open Server Manager. ...
  2. Choose either “Add Roles and Features” Option.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select the server. ...
  6. Check “Active Directory Domain Services” and click Next.
  7. Click Add Features.
  8. Click Next.


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