Windows Server 2008: Active Directory

Microsoft has decided to put an emphasis on Active Directory by potentially confusing its customers. In the past if someone mentioned Active Directory someone would define by saying it provides authentication services a central repository for objects and group policies. Now Microsoft will be releasing FIVE features/products under the Active Directory name. For those that […]

Microsoft has decided to put an emphasis on Active Directory by potentially confusing its customers. In the past if someone mentioned Active Directory someone would define by saying it provides authentication services a central repository for objects and group policies. Now Microsoft will be releasing FIVE features/products under the Active Directory name. For those that know Active Directory this really isn't such a big deal since most of the features have been around for some time and plugged into Active Directory. But for those that are not as familiar may become confused. This purpose of this blog is to help ease some of the initial shock some may have.

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS): This is the Active Directory we have all grown to love, although now it includes several more features just for Server 2008's version of Active Directory. AD DS provides us with a central authentication service, configuration, and storage of all objects. To find out more about AD DS visit TechNet. I want to hit what I think are the 3 most important features of Windows Server 2008's Active Directory.

  1. Fine-Grained Passwords
  2. Read-Only Domain Controllers
  3. Restartable Active Directory Domain Services

Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS): AD LDS used to be called Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) and is used to provide directory enabled applications a directory. Think of it as Active Directory without the domain or domain controllers. It is a directory that applications can use and have that application data stored in a central directory. To find out more about AD LDS visit TechNet. There are several enhancements to Server 2008's AD LDS but below is the one that I find most intriguing.

  1. Active Directory Sites and Services Support