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What is Active Directory?
Active Directory (AD) is a directory service developed by Microsoft for Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server Operating Systems as a set of processes and services. Initially, Active Directory was only in charge of centralized domain management. However, Active Directory became an umbrella title for a broad range of directory-related services.
A server running the Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) role is called a domain controller. It authenticates and authorizes all users and computers in a Windows domain type network. Assigning and enforcing security policies for all computers and installing or updating software. For example, when a user logs into a computer that is part of a Windows domain, Active Directory checks the submitted password and determines whether the user is a system administrator or normal user. Also it allows management and storage of information, provides authentication mechanisms, and establishes a framework to deploy other related services. Active Directory uses Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) versions 2 and 3, Microsoft's version of Kerberos and DNS.