Active Directory is the central repository of information on a WS2003-based network. Active Directory stores information about where different resources are located on the network. These resources include user and group accounts, computers, printers, and shared folders. Active Directory can be used to locate these resources quickly so that administrators can create, delete, configure, and maintain them as needed, and ordinary users can access them if they have suitable permissions to do so. Active Directory gives administrators a great deal of flexibility in how their network resources should be administered. By managing resources from any location in the enterprise, you can centralize IT administration in a few users or a single location. On the other hand, Active Directory allows you to create structure using domains and OUs and then to delegate authority over these portions. This allows for decentralized administration in which certain administrative tasks are devolved to various trusted users throughout the enterprise. Active Directory is managed primarily through the GUI but can also be programmatically accessed through an API called the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI). By writing scripts that use ADSI, administrators can automate most Active Directory administrative procedures, but this requires a good understanding of VBScript or JScript and is beyond the scope of this book.
Logical Structure of Active Directory
In its most ...