Active Directory Web Services (AD) is Microsoft’s primary identity management and directory service that enables centralized single-sign-on (SSO) for applications and services, supporting infrastructure components such as DNS, DHCP, IPsec, Wi-Fi, NPS, and VPN. On-premises AD DS installed on a server can be promoted to a domain controller for domain management with features including Group Policy, fine-grained password policy, Active Directory Admin Center, and more.
Azure Active Directory is Microsoft’s cloud-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solution for identity, access management, and security. It allows users, groups, apps, and devices to be registered with Azure to enable SSO access to apps and Microsoft 365 accounts. With Azure AD Connect installed on-premises, local usernames and passwords can be synced up to Azure AD to support a hybrid network Active Directory.
For over 20 years, Professional Labs has provided expertise for all Active Directory and AD DS releases. Our team has the knowledge and experience to design, deploy, and troubleshoot complex AD deployments across an enterprise, ensuring secure and efficient network management.
AD DS runs on domain controllers (DCs); organizations typically have multiple DCs with a directory copy for the entire domain. Any changes to the directory on one domain controller are replicated to the others to ensure all information stays current. A Global Catalog server is a DC that stores a complete copy of all objects in its domain directory and a partial copy of all objects in other domains in the forest.
Although desktops, laptops, and other Windows devices can be part of an Active Directory environment, they do not run AD DS. AD DS relies on several protocols and standards, including LDAP, Kerberos, and DNS. It’s important to note that Active Directory is only for on-premises Microsoft environments, and cloud-based Microsoft environments use Azure Active Directory instead. AD and Azure AD are separate but can work together to some extent in hybrid deployments where an organization has both on-premises and cloud-based IT environments.
Active Directory is a crucial network component, controlling access to essential resources in your organization. Professional Labs can help identify vulnerabilities in your Active Directory structure that could lead to security breaches or poor end-user experiences. With Professional Labs, you can:
Active Directory is a service that provides expert advice and guidance on the design, implementation, and management of Active Directory infrastructure. You may need Active Directory consulting to optimize your existing Active Directory environment, enhance security, or ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
The benefits of Active Directory consulting include access to expert consultants, customized solutions tailored to your specific needs, optimization of your Active Directory infrastructure, improved security, and reduced administrative overhead.
Any organization that uses Microsoft-based IT infrastructure and relies on Active Directory for user authentication, access control, and directory services can benefit from AD consulting services. This includes small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. AD Consulting can help organizations of any size and industry improve their AD environment’s security, performance, and scalability.
AD consulting services can vary depending on the specific needs of the organization. However, typical services may include AD design and planning, implementation and deployment, migration, security and compliance, performance optimization, and troubleshooting. The duration of an AD consulting project can also vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project. A simple implementation or migration project may take a few weeks, while a larger project that includes multiple domains or forests may take several months or longer.
An AD consultant should have a strong understanding of Microsoft Active Directory, including the latest features and best practices for implementation and management. They should also have experience with AD migration, security, compliance, and troubleshooting AD-related issues. Some specific qualifications an AD consultant may have to include Microsoft certifications, such as the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification, experience with other Microsoft technologies, such as Exchange Server or Office 365, and experience with third-party AD management tools. Additionally, an AD consultant should have excellent communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with the organization’s IT staff and other stakeholders.