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Top 10 Active Directory Tutorials on the Web

Active Directory, IT Pros

Active Directory Tutorials

We’ve all heard of the many benefits of Active Directory (AD) for IT admins– it makes your job simpler because there’s a central vault of user information, and it’s scalable, supporting millions of objects in a single domain. However, it can be a pain in the ACLs to implement and maintain—a cluttered, misconfigured AD can cause even the most veteran sysadmins anxiety.

Don’t go into panic mode, instead review our list of Active Directory tutorials, which explains this essential Windows service in 10 different ways:

  1. Active Directory is what makes businesses work if you’re a corporation with tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of users. Here are some great videos to help you understand:
  2. Explained by System and Network Admins, this Q&A from Server Fault does a thorough job explaining AD.
  3. If you’re a visual learner, I think you’d like to see these slides  covering all the components of AD and how they work together.
  4. Even if you’re not studying for your certification, it’s fun to test yourself with these flashcards.
  5. Straight from the source, what is Azure Active Directory?
  6. Now that you know what Azure AD is, you’ll really like Sean Deuby’s compare/contrast of Windows Azure Active Directory and Windows Server Active Directory.
  7. At Varonis, checklists have been a beneficial tool, streamlining our process and benefiting many departments as well as cross functional teams. While every organization operates differently, here’s a possible checklist for you to consider when planning, installing and configuring AD. And info on documenting Active Directory environments 
  8. A checklist, along with a gentle push in the right direction, such as this detailed AD planning and design guide just might be the right level of guidance you’ll need. And straight from the source: Best Practices for Active Directory Design to Manage Windows Networks
  9. Top Active Directory Complaint: Lockouts!
    • Once you’re all set up, a common AD complaint is troubleshooting an account lockout issue. The Directory Services team does a great job explaining AD’s UI behavior for account lockouts. It also discusses the differences between Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012
    • Also, don’t miss Andy’s excellent Secrets of Active Directory Lockouts: How to Find Apps with Stale Credentials
    • Download Account Lockout Tool from Microsoft (Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003)
  10. While a mailing list isn’t a tutorial, sometimes you just need human help. Created in January 2001 with the aim of discussing Active Directory, it has over 1,000 subscribers and 5,000 site members.
Cindy Ng

Cindy Ng

Cindy is the host of the Inside Out Security podcast.


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