Active Directory

Can anyone explain in short Active Directory. I need to explain AD in short to Senior Managment that has no clue what Active Director is .. so how can I shorten and perhaps put give an analogy. Thoughts?
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Its like a library card catalog as my instructor used to call it. Start with that and expand to say what each card (attributes) has on it.

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Active Directory is a “central” database containing people’s information that will be used to authenticate them. In this case, every soldier’s information will reside in Active Directory.

A phone book is a directory that contains names, addresses and phone numbers about businesses, people and local municipalities.  In the same way, Active Directory contains information about users, computers, shares and systems.  The ”phone book” entries are known as objects and Active Directory lets you grant permissions to different objects based on policies you define.
Mike KlineCommented:
You could also mention that Active Directory provides authorization (access to files for example) and authentication (when they log in)

You tell them that when they log in to their PC they are using a user account stored in active directory.   When the access a file server active directory gives them that authorization.  Behind the covers there is a lot that goes on there (kerberos)...but that is getting too deep for them.


SandeshdubeySenior Server EngineerCommented:
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Active Directory

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