Active Directory vs. Domain

Difference Between Active Directory and Domain

Both of the terms Active Directory and Domain are concepts that are very useful in network administration.

Active Directory is a Microsoft developed service that gives us the liberty to store information on a network in such a way that there are specific administrators and users who can log in to the network and access the information. From a single point of the active directory we can see the view the entire series of objects in a network. The active directory provides a hierarchal view of the network.

Active directory can do a lot of tasks like giving information about any attached hardware, and can also facilitate emails, web and various applications to particular users.

1.     Network objects which are defined as anything that is attached to the network like printer, applications for security and end users and other objects.

2.     Schemas or in other words the method of identification of each object in a network. Schemas settle on the role of any object in the network.

3.     Hierarchy – The hierarchal structure of active directory plays a key role in the positioning object in the network hierarchy. The forest (the highest level used by the network administrators to scrutinize all the objects in the directory), tree (second level that holds multiple domains).

Active directory makes the process of maintaining the large organizational network easy.

Domain is nothing but a group of computers having a common name, policies and database on a network. There can be about a million objects in a single domain which comes third in the hierarchy of active directory. They contain different security policies and administrative assignments. All the objects that are found in the domain have the same assigned policies and are managed by the domain administrator. Each domain has a database for exceptional accounts. When you want to access the files / objects you need to authenticate yourself first.

An active directory needs multiple so that it can operate. A domain needs multiple servers that act as domain controllers (DCs). These domain controllers are used to maintain policy, store database and to provide user  authentication.


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