Active Directory (AD) Components

March 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm


AD Components Overview

In this post, we examine the key concepts that make up Windows Server Active Directory (AD). This is a continuing series here at the blog as we get excited for my 70-742 Identity in Windows Server 2016 to get fired up at CBT Nuggets.


The key element of AD is the domain. This is how we organize the structure in an enterprise. A domain consists of:

  • An X.500 (LDAP) based hierarchical structure of containers and objects
  • A DNS domain name
  • A security service
  • Policies
  • A Domain Controller (DC) that is authoritative for the domain (you should have more than one DC!)

Note that you can string domains together in your enterprise to create a domain tree. Perhaps we have as our first domain, then we create as our next domain. Note that these domains in a tree explicitly trust each other in a transitive way.


What a perfect name for our next component. A forest is a collection of domain trees! The first domain you create is called the forest root domain. This forest root domain could be renamed later on, but it cannot be removed. Once you have multiple domain trees in a forest,  trust relationships permit resource sharing.

You can even create forest trust relationships if your forest must access resources in another separate forest.

While it is cool that we can create a forest of multiple domain trees, it is almost always correct to keep things as simple as possible and create a single domain forest.

Organizational Units

What most of us think of when we envision AD is Organization Units (OUs). These are containers we create to fill with objects like users and groups and printers and then we assign policy to these units using Group Policy. Do not confuse OUs with another type of container object in AD called – a container. While there are some default containers in Windows Server, we tend to use OUs all the time as we are building our hierarchy.

When you install AD, some default containers and OUs get created for you. For example, there is a Domain Controllers OU.

The Global Catalog (GC)

Need to search a forest for something? The Global Catalog (GC) server comes to the rescue. The attributes you can search on are inside the GC and we call this a partial attribute set (PAS). There are tools you can use to manipulate what attributes make it into the GC.

I hope you found this post informative, and I would like to thank you for reading. Next up, we will examine the Flexible Single Master Operator (FSMO) Roles in AD.
Pearson Education (InformIT)

Why I Use CBT Nuggets Training – Part 4 – Killer Features!

December 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

CBT Nuggets

There is another reason I use CBT Nuggets to learn new technologies – actually many reasons all in one here. CBT Nuggets is consistently introducing new technologies into the site that really assist me in my learning. For example:

  • Quiz questions (shown above) for validating my minutes of learning
  • Notes that I can take that follow me from app to app
  • Bookmarks in Nuggets
  • Transcripts
  • A speed control for speeding up or slowing down the instructor
  • A pop out player so I can use my multiple monitors to the fullest
  • A memory of where I left off in a Nugget

I have become so reliant on many of these features that I get saddened when I am using any other training tool lately!

Why I Use CBT Nuggets Training – Part 3 – Killer Apps!

December 8, 2016 at 10:59 pm


What is another compelling reason I use CBT Nuggets? It is the killer apps that we know have available for most all of your mobile devices.

With my iPhone CBT Nuggets app, I can watch content that is synced with my desktop version of CBT Nuggets. I have many of the same great features, including the ability to play an instructor at a slower or faster pace.

Am I boarding a flight with no Internet access for streaming? No problem! I add the Nuggets that I want to watch to my Offline Queue so I can enjoy the content while in Airplane Mode!

With each passing quarter – our amazing developers bring their apps to new platforms. For example, last month they unveiled a killer Apple TV app for CBT Nuggets viewing.

I hope this post was informative for you, and I would like to thank you for reading!