One of the important change in Windows 2000 is the inclusion of Active Directory. Active Directory is a fully qualified directory service, an essential and inseparable component of the latest generation of Windows 2000 network architecture.
Active Directory lets organizations efficiently manage and share information on users and network resources. It is essentially a single point of management for Windows-based user accounts, clients, and applications. Active Directory also acts as storage for Windows network security information. Windows 2000 Active Directory helps organizations integrate non-Windows application with Windows-based applications and the devices. Windows machines serving as a domain controllers on a network each run an instance of the Active Directory services and hold a copy of the directory database.
Organizations also use it to extend systems securely to the Internet, by forcing their Web application users to authenticate them against their single-point Active Directory. Microsoft succeeded at pushing Active Directory into wide deployment in the business world, because Windows desktop systems are so challenging to own without it. Windows 2000 Active Directory delivers the practical and helpful information you need to manage your site and your organization’s directory effectively. It will help you automate tasks to save time and to achieve greater reliability.