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Active Directory

Active directory is an advanced, hierarchical Microsoft directory service used to store and retrieve data about users, groups, computers, printers, resources, buildings, etc.  Active Directory can be used to store information about objects, assign access to network resources, send emails to a group of people, and much more.



  • Easily queryable: Able to locate an object by querying its properties and can handle a high number of concurrent reads.
  • Highly available: Able to locate a replica of the entire directory at separate locations to allow for redundancy that is efficient for read/write operations.
  • Tightly integrated: Active Directory Domain Services implements its features in accordance with published Internet standards such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Domain Name System (DNS), allowing for third party applications to easily integrate with Active Directory.
  • Security focused: Allows for modern authentication standards such as Kerberos, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), or a combination.
  • Extensible and customizable: The Active Directory Schema is rich. Most of the objects and properties a service requires are available. If not, a distributed application can extend the schema to support the application requirements.

Designed for

Faculty, staff, and students


All SUNet IDs have some access to Active Directory. To request additional permissions please submit a Help request.


Free of charge

Get started

For assistance accessing directory information or to discuss integrating with a third party application please submit a Help request.

Get help

For assistance, submit a Help ticket.

Learn more

For IT providers (restricted access)

See also

Last modified August 10, 2018