Chapter 1. Before you begin


Imagine you work in a medium-size organization—about 3000 users, each with a PC, and 300 servers. Each user needs access to multiple servers. You wouldn’t even want to think about the chaos, never mind the work, involved in trying to manage user logon accounts and permissions across all of those individual systems. And by the time you get to organizations with 10,000, 50,000, or even 100,000 users, it’s impossible to manage each computer individually.

Active Directory (AD) provides a centralized service that links all of those machines and enables a user to log on and access any of them provided they have been granted permission to do so.

Imagine again that you arrive at work one Monday morning and are told “Congratulations, you’re our new AD administrator!” You’re now responsible for all those users, PCs, and servers. After taking a big gulp, you wonder where to start. You need to know how to administer Active Directory. You can live without the theory for now, but what do you need to do to keep things working? This book will show you. It’s a straightforward guide to administering Active Directory delivered in lunch-size pieces, concentrating on what you need to do your job now.

1.1. AD core deliverables

1.2. Is this book for you?

1.3. How to use this book

1.4. Creating your lab environment

1.5. Being immediately effective