Definition of a Hierarchy

An Active Directory hierarchy comprises of several elements. Depending on the design of the hierarchy, you can include all the elements or just a subset. The way that all these elements are combined determines the structure of the hierarchy. The elements of a hierarchy are

  • Object

  • OU

  • Domain

  • Tree

  • Forest


The most basic element of the namespace hierarchy is an object. Objects are the building blocks of the Active Directory structure. Objects can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Computers

  • Users

  • Groups

  • Printers

  • Security policies

  • OUs

  • Applications

  • Shared folders

In addition to these standard objects, it is possible to create custom objects. An example of a custom object is the user profile for an Enterprise ...

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