Windows Directory Services

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Active Directory is a technology created by Microsoft that provides a variety of network services, including:

  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Active Directory supports LDAPv3 and LDAPv2.
  • Kerberos-based authentication
  • DNS-based naming and other network information
  • Central location for network administration and delegation of authority
  • Information security and single sign-on for user access to networked based resources
  • Synchronization of directory updates amongst several servers

Using the same database, primarily in Windows environments, Active Directory also allows administrators to assign policies, deploy software, and apply critical updates to an organization. Active Directory stores information and settings in a central database.