What's the difference between AD and AD DS?

What's the difference between AD and AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services)?

If possible, I'd like a relatively simple explanation (but I would like detail enough where I have a good understanding)... as I learn better without a bunch of links that go into extreme detail, so if we can keep it short and to the point (as I did with the question), I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

AD DS is exactly the same as AD, it just changed names when Server 2008 was released

Microsoft also consolidated the name of ADAM (Active directory Application Mode) to AD LDS

(Active directory lightweight services)
TymetwisterAuthor Commented:
So from what you are saying, from now on (WinServ08 and above) it is now known as AD DS, not AD anymore?
Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

Mike KlineCommented:
Yes it is known as adds but if you say AD to anyone they are going to know what you are talking about.  I don't think the term AD is going away anytime soon.

You are right you do see it in windows 8 screenshots on my blog   http://adisfun.blogspot.com/2012/03/windows-server-8-dcpromo-error-fixed.html

...but it's not just in windows 8.  In my 2008 R2 domain for example you will see the adds services


TymetwisterAuthor Commented:
Why would they take something simplified and make it longer? Just seems strange...
They wanted to group the two 'ad' products under the same base name. No technical reason for the name change.
Mike KlineCommented:
In 2003 there was no AD service in services so if they just called it Active Directory and then also had the ADWS web service it may have confused people as to which service was for what so ADDS does sort of make sense there.


Leon FesterSenior Solutions ArchitectCommented:
Just to add onto what mike says, previously(WIN2K/WIN2K3) AD was installed as a role only.
In WIN2K8, AD is installed as a service.
Hence the longer name Active Directory Domain Services.

With the new way that AD is configured, you can effectively switch AD off/on just by stopping/starting the service.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
TymetwisterAuthor Commented:
dvt, I understand what you mean when you say it's now installed as a services (probably viewable through services.msc, I would imagine), but I'm not sure what you mean when you say AD was installed as a "role?"
Leon FesterSenior Solutions ArchitectCommented:
In Win2K/Win2K3; Active Directory was controlled by stopping/starting the Domain Controller. Full Server reboot was required.
In Win2K8, Active Directory is controlled by stopping/starting the service.

If you open the Server Manager on Windows 2003, you don't see an Active Directory Role. You see the Domain Controller role.
However, in Windows 2008, you do see Active Directory as a role, which can be added and removed.

Think of how the DNS, DHCP and WINS roles are administered on Win2K/Win2K3?
You didn't have the same functionality for AD, the only way to stop/start/restart Active Directory was to reboot the Domain Controller.
Now you do have that functionality.

Just like the Print Server Role, Application Server roles can be install, but they are not singularly controlled like AD DS is.
You'd also have to restart the Server instead of just restarting a service.

With AD being installed as a service a lot of adminstrative tasks required that the DC[actual server] is restarted, you don't need to restart the Server, just the Service.

Have a read through the sections:
What new functionality does this feature provide?
What existing functionality is changing?

P.S. I hope you didn't confuse role in my explantion with FSMO roles.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Active Directory

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.