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Windows Server® 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant by William Stanek

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Understanding the Directory Structure

Active Directory has many components and is built on many technologies. Directory data is made available to users and computers through data stores and global catalogs. Although most Active Directory tasks affect the data store, global catalogs are equally important because they’re used during logon and for information searches. In fact, if the global catalog is unavailable, normal users can’t log on to the domain. The only way to change this behavior is to cache universal group membership locally. As you might expect, caching universal group membership has advantages and disadvantages, which I’ll discuss in a moment.

You access and distribute Active Directory data using directory access protocols and replication. ...

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