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AD DS-Active Directory Domain Services : Easy & Brief Explanation

What is Active Directory Domain Services?

AD DS stands for Active Directory Domain Services. It is a server role in an active directory that allows administrators to store information and manage data about resources in a distributed database within a network. A secure and manageable infrastructure for user and administrator can be created in Active Directory Domain services.

Active Directory Domain Services Attributes :

  • The primary functionality of AD DS is to store data and manage communication  between users and domain controllers.
  • It allows your domain controller (DC) to serve digital certificates, signatures and public key cryptography.
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is also supported in ADDS.
  • Provides SSO (Single-Sign-ON) authentication for multiple applications in the same session, so users don’t have to keep providing the same credentials.
  • It controls information rights and data access policies. For example, Rights management determines if you can access the folder or send an email.

Active Directory Domain Services Components:

AD DS is composed of both Logical and Physical Components.

Active Directory Domain Services logical components are,

  • Partitions
  • Schema
  • Domain
  • Domain trees
  • Forests
  • Sites
  • OUs
  • Containers.

The physical components of Active Directory Domain Services are,

  • Domain Controller
  • Data stores
  • Global Catalog server
  • Read Only Domain Controller (RODC)

Brief Description of Each AD DS Logical Components :

  1. What is partition?
  • A partition or a naming context belongs to the ADDS database. The entire database is a file named Ntds.dit and a partition is a portion of the entire database. Different partitions contain different datas.
    ***Storage path for Ntds.dit is – C:\windows\Ntds\Ntds.dit

    Example:  The Domain partition contains the used, computers, groups and other object specific data to the domain.

*** Copies of the partitions can be stored on multiple domain controllers and updated through directory replication. ***

  1. What is Schema?
  • A set of definitions of the types of objects and attributes that are used to define the objects created in ADDS.
  1. What is Domain?
  • A Domain is a logical container that stores objects like users, computers. Data related to these objects are stored in the domain partition. A parent-child relationship can be made between different domains.
  1. What is a Domain Tree?
  • A domain tree is a hierarchical collection of domains or domain trees that share a common and contiguous Domain Name System name space or DNS name space.
  1. What is Forest?
  • A Forest is a collection of domain trees that share a common Global Catalog and discontiguous Domain Name System name space or DNS name space.
  1. What is Site?
  • A Site is a container for ADDS objects like computers and services that are defined by their physical location. This is in comparison with a domain that represents the logical structures of objects like users or groups or computers.
  1. What are OUs?
  • An OU is a container object that stores users, groups, computers that provides a frame-work for delegating administrative rights and administration by linking group policy objects (GPOs)
  1. What is Container?
  • A container is an object that provides an organizational frame-work for users in ADDS. There are some default containers or you can also create custom containers. Containers can not have GPOs linked to them.

Brief Description of Each Physical Components of Active Directory Domain Services:

  1. What is a Domain Controller?
  • A physical PC or a physical server where any Network Operating System (NOS) is installed with an ADDS role and prompted as a Controller to control the entire domain is called a Domain Controller. The main data of a domain controller is stored as a file named Ntds.dit in the location :-  C:\WINDOWS\NTDS\NTDS.dit
  1. What is a Data Store?
  • A Data store is the location where the main centralized database will be stored.
    C:\WINDOWS\NTDS\NTDS.dit
  1. What is Global Catalog?
  • The Global Catalog hosts a partial attribute set for other domains in the forest. It supports queries for objects throughout the forest.
  1. What is Read Only Domain Controller (RODC)?
  • Read Only Domain Controller or RODC is a domain controller used in small spaces where an entire domain controller can not be used. This type of domain controller is used to perform some basic jobs like, user logon process or file/printer sharing etc.

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