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Active Directory Domain Services

Updated: January 4, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Active Directory┬« Domain Services (AD DS) stores information about users, computers, and other resources on a network. AD DS helps administrators manage this information securely. It also facilitates resource sharing and collaboration among users. AD DS is required for directory-enabled applications, such as Microsoft┬« Exchange Server, and for other Windows Server technologies, such as Group Policy.


AD DS requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to be installed on the network. If you do not have a DNS server available for name resolution in the domain, you will be prompted to install the DNS server role on this server.

The following topics provide information about using AD DS snap-ins: