What’s the point of a network? The main thing is to enable multiple users to access files and applications and share them easily. If your data isn’t centralized on a server then you need an alternative system so that authorized users can access files from other connected computers. That’s what Active Directory is for.

As a tool for server administration and management, Active Directory deals with the permissions stored on your server and keeps them properly organized. These permissions are essential so that people can find, open and save files that are stored on computers other than their own workstation. Active Directory makes sure that everything runs in an orderly fashion.

Nearly all Windows Server operating systems include Active Directory. If you have several servers then the one using Active Directory is the primary domain controller – the heart of your network and also its security officer. Active Directory manages all the logon requests that come in to the network, from any or all of the computers or other devices attached to it. Information goes backwards and forwards to make sure that the user has the correct permissions and authorization. Once the password is verified, the user will be granted the access rights and privileges needed to open files and apps stored on the network.

Normally a server stores all sorts of files and applications, but few staff need to use all of those programs or access all of the files. Active Directory allows you to give differential access to different users. One of the advantages of this concerns security. Most organizations have levels of sensitive information that isn’t and shouldn’t be free for anyone to access, even within the company. Or, for example, you may use your network hardware to provide customers with Wi-Fi access. You can use Active Directory to make sure confidential business files are open only to staff and not to clients.

You can manage your Active Directory by security level and/or by group. Management, sales, HR and customers will need access to different files and those permissions can be set accordingly. Of course, like all technology, it needs to be managed properly and configured correctly to maintain security and do the job you require it to do. You also want to make sure that it all works in a streamlined and efficient way and overhead is kept to a minimum.

Do you need help managing Active Directory on your network? We can help with planning, implementation and ensuring the security of your network. To discuss how we can help you use Active Directory so that it’s tailored to your unique business needs, give Quikteks a call at (973) 882-4644.

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