Active Directory (AD) is a Windows OS directory service that facilitates working with interconnected, complex and different network resources in a unified manner. Active Directory provides the following network services.

1. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) – An open standard used to access other directory services

2. Security service using the principles of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Kerberos-based authentication

3. Hierarchical and internal storage of organizational data in a centralized location for faster access and better network administration

4. Data availability in multiple servers with concurrent updates to provide better scalability