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Purpose of Certificate Authority in a domain?

I'm trying to understand what the purpose of the certificate authority role is in a 2008 domain.  Is there a basic article you could point me to that would cover the very basics of certificates, the different kinds out there, and what specifically the certificate authority in a domain does?  For instance there are two publicly available websites in my domain and both use a certificate we purchased from go daddy.  Could I use an internal certificate server to generate these instead of paying for them?
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James HIT DirectorCommented:
If you do that, the people who browse the secure portion of your site will receive SSL warning stating that the certificate is not from a trusted authority.

Read this article for more info:

First LastAuthor Commented:
How about machines that are members of the domain?  One site is OWA, the other is a citrix gateway for remote access.  I'm assuming that domain member machines would trust the certificate.
James HIT DirectorCommented:
No, they would not. You would have to import the cert into the trusted root certification authorities folder for them to accept without error.
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