Microsoft Active Directory is a directory service developed by Microsoft to authenticate users and computers in a Microsoft Windows domain. It is included as part of Microsoft Windows Server. The computer in the Microsoft Windows Server is referred to as the domain controller. Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers running the Samba service can also act as the domain controller in this type of network.
Active Directory relies on three core technologies which work together:
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), for storing information about users, computers, passwords, and other resources.
Kerberos, for providing secure authentication over the network.
Domain Name Service (DNS) for providing mappings between IP addresses and host names of computers and other devices on the network.