[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello, and welcome to this Q&A on what is Active Directory? Brought to you by Quest Software, the Active Directory go-to experts who have helped move, manage, and secure over 336 million users.
We're here with senior product marketing manager, Jennifer LuPiba. So Jennifer, what is Active Directory?
Active Directory is the heart of it all. Think about all the things you do in a workday and all the resources you access. Active Directory makes that possible and simply put, AD is a single point of authentication and authorization, a database and a set of services that help users get their work done in an on-prem, Microsoft environment.
So AD isn't used for Microsoft cloud environments?
Correct. Microsoft environments in the cloud use Azure Active Directory, which serves the same purpose as its on-prem namesake. The two instances are separate but can work together in a hybrid deployment.
Describe the database to me.
Yeah, the database or directory contains critical information about an organization's environment, including what users, computers, printers and other devices are connected to the network and what they're allowed to do and access, like other applications and file services.
For example, you might have a database of 100 users listed with details like each person's job title, their phone number or password, and their permissions.
And the database is what allows people to access resources on a network?
That's partially right. You have to have a directory of users and computers and their permissions, but it's the services that control much of the activity that goes on in your environment. They make sure each person is who they claim to be. That's the authentication, usually by checking their user ID and password they enter.
And the services allow them to access only the data and resources they're allowed to use. That's the authorization.
Ah, thank you, Jennifer. Where can someone go to learn more about Active Directory?
Well, I have a five part blog series on Quest.com that gives an overview of Active Directory, including how it's structured, everyday management tasks, securing it, migration projects, and reporting. I hope you check it out.