There are numerous Active Directory benefits, but let’s take a closer look at the basics first.
The easiest way to understand Active Directory is if you look at some big system. A good example would be a school computer network. Each student has a unique username and password which enables him or her to log into their personal account from any machine within the network. With this tweak, every computer acts like a personal, containing all of your files and drives your account had permission to access.
The previous example clearly illustrates the basic principles on which Active Directory works. It is a rather practical database system that connects all computers within one network. All information is easy to access, while administrators can determine which users get permission to specific files.
Among many Active Directory benefits, the latter one is a vital element since it gives you a full control over your network. On the other hand, all of the user account and passwords are stored in one protected location. This is highly beneficial to your network security because it is easier to protect one fortress than several houses.
Another great thing about Active Directory is that it enables you to oversee all of the activities from a single access point. This means a complete transparency and insight into productivity and information transfer within the network.
Active Directory benefits for your organization
The fact is that not all members of your organization or company need to have access to all of the files.
For example, if you have payroll information, the administrator can only grant permissions to employees from the accounting department.
Another example would be the HR-relevant files, like vacation dates. The administrator can grant read-only permissions to all of the employees and full access only to HR department. This way anyone could see the files, but permission to change or delete them would be reserved only for the department in charge.
Moreover, Active Directory enables network administrators to perform network updates all at once. Without it, network administrators would literally have to go from one computer to another and checking for the updates. Or even worse, you would let the employees take care of the updates themselves.
Logically, with such scenario, the entire network would be having more issues and potentially become vulnerable. Therefore, if we observe Active Directory benefits in more depth, we can easily see that having such database system makes all the difference.
Working without Active Directory benefits
If we take a look how your company is organized without Active Directory, we will see all of the computers set up in workgroups.
Each machine would run individually, and the only thing in common would be the same Local Area Network (LAN). In this scenario, none of the computers would communicate with one another, and each information exchange would require users to go through the authentication process.
The Active Directory acts as a global account that links all of the computers together to a unique system.
It is not uncommon for people with small businesses to believe they don’t need the Active Directory. However, no matter how small your company is, you still have at least few employees, and each of them uses a computer. Not having a unique database system, all computers run unaware of others’ existence. This means when one employee wishes to access information of another, they would need their IP address, username, and password in order to start the exchange.
Active Directory provides a central location to which all of the machines are connected. This means all information would be stored there, as oppose to individual hard drives which would be the case without Active Directory.
There is a global catalog that controls the domain and monitors each device that is registered to the network. It also stores a full copy of all objects in the directory, which is for the purposes of its host’s domain, as well as the read-only copies for other domains. Read-only copies are considered partial since they include certain limitations to their targeted audience.
After installing Active Directory, the global catalog for a new forest is created automatically on the first domain controller in the forest. After that, you can choose whether or not you want to add global catalog functionality to other domain controllers. A global catalog finds objects, gives user principal name authentication, validates object references within a forest and provides universal group information in a multi-domain environment. This means that global catalog is in charge for storing IP addresses, computer, and usernames – all that to provide a global administrator full insight in everything that is happening in the domain. So, if you want to access a computer, everything you need is its name, while all of the information is already linked on the back end.
Additionally, when you are using Active Directory, there is no need for constantly granting permissions, because that is already done from the domain controller. This means that each user already knows which files he or she is allowed to access. Therefore, digital communication is simplified, thus more efficient, while all the data is readily available.
Analyzing this information, it is clear that Active Directory benefits are manifold. It not only improves your company’s security, by having everything within one database system, it also makes data exchange between your associates easier and much faster.
Furthermore, Active Directory provides backup and restoration services for the central storage, which means your information are safeguarded and within a reach at any time. It is rather useful for both big companies, as well as for small enterprises since it enhances productivity.
Active Directory also provides opportunities to reduce costs. By deploying an automated system that will provide a tested and controlled method of installing and removing applications, updates, and patches, you will eliminate technical support calls.
The list of Active Directory benefits is endless, and its use is a standard for professional networks, and most importantly it doesn’t need to be expensive either.
VapourApps Directory is an alternative to Microsoft Active Directory. It allows you to manage corporate user accounts and groups, which the employees use on their computers.
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