what is active directory? and how it works.

What is active directory and how it works- Securium solutions

March 16, 2023 / By Securium Solutions

Active Directory (AD) is a technology developed by Microsoft that provides a centralized authentication and authorization service for Windows-based operating systems. AD is a key component of the Windows Server operating system and is used by organizations of all sizes to manage their users, computers, and other resources. In this blog, we will discuss how Active Directory works.

At its core, AD is a directory service that stores information about objects in a network, such as users, computers, and groups. This information is organized into a hierarchical structure, similar to the way files and folders are organized in a file system. The structure is based on the domain name system (DNS) and consists of domains, trees, and forests.

A domain is a logical grouping of objects in a network. It is defined by a unique name and can contain one or more domain controllers (DCs), which are servers that manage and authenticate users and computers in the domain. Each domain also has a unique security identifier (SID) that is used to identify it within the network.

A tree is a collection of domains that share a contiguous namespace. The domains in a tree are connected through trust relationships, which allow users in one domain to access resources in another domain. A forest is a collection of trees that share a common schema, configuration, and global catalog.

The global catalog is a distributed database that contains a partial replica of all objects in the forest. It is used to quickly locate objects in the network, such as users, computers, and groups. The global catalog is replicated to all domain controllers in the forest and is updated every few minutes to ensure consistency.

Active Directory uses a client-server architecture, with clients sending requests to domain controllers for authentication and authorization. When a user logs on to a computer, the computer sends a request to a domain controller to verify the user’s credentials. The domain controller checks the user’s username and password against its database and if valid, grants access to the user.

Active Directory also provides a wide range of administrative tools for managing users, computers, and other objects in the network. These tools include the Active Directory Users and Computers console, which is used to create and manage user accounts, groups, and other objects. Other administrative tools include the Group Policy Management Console, which is used to manage group policy settings, and the Active Directory Administrative Center, which provides a unified interface for managing AD objects.

In addition to authentication and authorization, Active Directory also provides a number of other services, such as DNS, DHCP, and certificate services. These services are used to provide additional functionality to the network and can be managed using the same administrative tools as AD.

Active Directory is a technology for managing users, computers, and other resources in a Windows-based network. It provides a centralized authentication and authorization service, as well as a range of administrative tools for managing the network. Understanding how Active Directory works is essential for anyone responsible for managing a Windows-based network, and the information provided in this blog should provide a good starting point for further exploration.


Saurabh Kumar

Cyber Security Intern

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