IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding the origins of Active Directory
Understanding the elements of Active Directory
Comparing flat account databases and Windows Server 2008 domains
Since the days of Windows 2000, Active Directory has become one of the hottest technologies on corporate networks. If you are familiar with the Windows 2000 implementation of Active Directory, then you are probably also familiar with its shortcomings. Understanding Active Directory is thus a prerequisite to any management or deployment of Windows Server 2008.
In the 1970s, all the computing resources you needed, or could use, resided on the same computer or terminal you were logged on to. In the 1980s, with the advent of the PC LAN, many files were located on remote machines and there were definite paths to these machines. LAN users shared the files and printers, and exchanged e-mail on the LAN. Before the end of the 1990s, we witnessed the beginning of the paradigm shift whereby all information and functionality could be accessed on any server on any network anywhere ... and the user did not need to know where the objects were physically located. Now it's 2008, and not only can you access any file on any server across a corporate network, but you can access it with PDAs, cell phones, and any number of wireless devices.
This is the ideal computing model, in which all network objects—servers, devices, functionality, information, authentication, and the transports—combine ...