What is MS Active Directory on Cloud Azure

To explore the question of what exactly Active Directory is, the term directory service still needs to be clarified. This is a central collection of data of a certain kind in a network. In an entrepreneurial context, this means that there is a directory service on your own intranet that centrally collects user data and makes various applications available via the network. In this Tech-Wales will explain what Microsoft Active Directory directory service is, where it’s used, and the benefits businesses can get from it.

What is MS Active Directory?

MS Active Directory from Microsoft is a directory service for Windows Servers. Active Directory should be understood as a kind of assignment list, similar to a telephone book, which assigns associated telephone numbers (different objects) to the respective persons (users). In this context, objects include computers, services, servers, files, and other devices such as printers or scanners.

In the company’s own network, each user or user group is assigned the corresponding object. MS Active Directory allows the actual structure of a company to be mapped into the network. Administrators have the option to centrally organise and provide individual information about the objects.

Ultimately, access rights and restrictions can also be assigned to individual users. This means that not every employee needs access to every file or device used in the company. Active Directory includes five different server roles (Domain Services, Lightweight Directory Services, Federation Services, Rights Management Services, and Certificates Services) and contains four main components.

Structure of Active Directory

Active Directory can be divided into three different areas. The schema, the configuration and the domain. The schema represents a kind of template for all Active Directory entries and defines object types, their classes, and their attribute syntax. The configuration ultimately defines the Active Directory forest and its major types. Active Directory depends on the Jet database, which Microsoft also uses for the Exchange Server.

The individual records in the database are called objects. Their properties are defined as attributes and are displayed differently depending on their type. Two categories are defined with regard to the objects. On the one hand, accounts such as users, groups and computer accounts, and on the other hand, resources, such as file and device sharing.

What is Active Directory on MS Cloud Azure

For which organisations is Active Directory suitable?

Active Directory is used in companies of all industries and sizes. The big advantage for your own employees is that they have access to all devices assigned to them within their own company network with one central login. Active Directory is suitable for administrators because of the simple organisation of the entire corporate network. All objects, such as computers, printers, files, but also users can be managed centrally, which makes management much easier.

Active Directory features

Below are the four major components of Active Directory and clarify their benefits for managing a company’s networks.

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

The LDAP protocol allows computers to make requests to the directory. Information about individual users and their group memberships can be retrieved uniformly.

Server Message Block (SMB)

The Server Message Block protocol allows users to access files on servers on the network. For example, this protocol allows Active Directory to provide Group Policy and logon scripts for client computers.

Kerberos protocol

To authenticate users in a consistent manner, the Kerberos protocol is required. This allows users to access different servers within the network without having to log in every time. The key word here is single sign-on.

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System, DNS for short, translates computer names into IP addresses. In this way, the individual computers can be set up within the network or in the Active Directory with names.

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